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We are grateful to have many fabulous social workers here at Insight who contribute to the organization in a variety of ways. Whether it is connecting with participants, coordinating resources for families, engaging the community, or just being a listening ear, our social workers do extraordinary work to further our mission. As we celebrate Social Work Month, meet our social workers!
Since I had been taking care of Marie’s increasing needs as the disease progressed, I decided that the best course of action at that time was just to continue doing what we were doing. Besides, not being a member of the health care community, I didn’t know of any other options. So for the time being, we would go it alone. After all, I reasoned, who can better take care of your loved one than you?
Dementia gradually diminishes a person’s ability to communicate. Communication with a person with dementia requires patience, understanding and good listening skills. Learn more about effective communication strategies in dementia care.
Insight is fortunate to have an amazing recreation staff leading participants in a variety of activities each day. Whether it’s brain fitness, a new art project, music therapy, or interacting with technologies like the multi-sensory room, the Obie, or virtual reality, our rec team provides engagement and support to participants in all stages of their dementia journey. As we celebrate Recreation Therapy Month, meet the rec team!
As our Early Stage Reconnections program has expanded to Fairfax, Sterling, and virtual options, Insight is so lucky to have an amazing team of recreation staff leading a variety of activities at each program. Whether it’s a lively discussion, cornhole trivia, an artist spotlight, or a virtual program with the Smithsonian, our rec team provides engagement for each participant based on their interests and abilities. As we celebrate Recreation Therapy month, meet the early stage team!
One of the top questions we get about our programs at Insight is “what do they do all day?” It’s a natural question, since many of us have images of seniors playing bingo all day in our heads! At Insight Memory Care Center, we work hard to ensure that participants are engaged in a wide variety of activities at all levels of our programs – which is where we depend on our fantastic recreation therapists!
Insight Memory Care Center is excited to begin a virtual reality program – the first of its kind – to boost engagement, mental wellness, and quality of life for senior participants in our adult day health center. Anita Irvin, Executive Director, shares, “We are always looking for innovative ways to engage our participants in our day programs. When we were first looking at the option of virtual reality, our staff was quickly on board when we realized all the possibilities for our participants to reminisce, connect, and engage with each other in new ways."
Around 3 million LGBTQ+ adults are over age 50, and those that receive a dementia diagnosis face a particularly challenging set of circumstances. Many, including care partners, face disproportionately high levels of social isolation and stigmatization as they age, making it difficult to find support. Watch our recent webinar at take a look at the resource listing!
Health disparities can have a profound, negative effect on public health in the United States, entire populations and its individual communities. Dementia care and support services can vary widely depending on race, ethnicity, geography, and socioeconomic and political factors. The ability for a person to get a timely diagnosis, manage the disease, and be able to access quality health care contributes to health disparities in dementia. How can we learn and support change?
Marie had an appointment with a neurologist, who gave her a diagnosis of dementia, most likely Alzheimer’s Disease. Marie was totally unfazed by it. I wish I could say the same for myself. All the way home from the appointment, I kept repeating to myself, “what do we do now?,” “what do we do now?”
Lewy body dementias (LBD) affect an estimated 1.4 million individuals in the United States. Though many families are affected by this disease, few individuals and medical professionals are aware of the symptoms, diagnostic criteria, or even that LBD exists! The Lewy Body Dementia Association shares more about common symptoms, presentations of LBD, ways to live well going forward, and a resource list to learn more.
"My hope for Insight in the future is that we continue to serve our home base here, but at the same time expand our reach further and further," shares Rodney. "My own grandmother, she was diagnosed with dementia. She lives in North Carolina and she doesn't have stuff like this there," says Selena. Listen as staff and family members share their hopes for the future with Insight Memory Care Center.
It seems as though everyone makes New Year’s resolutions – eat healthy, clean out the house, exercise more, the list could go on and on. And despite our best intentions, these resolutions are usually out the window before we’ve even turned the calendar over to February. However, resolutions can be a great way to start off the New Year when you can keep them! Here are 5 resolutions for care partners that you can actually keep!
Using our own dementia expertise and working with community partners for additional specialized topics, we're excited to continue to offer a wide variety of classes, workshops, trainings, author presentations, and even movie screenings in 2023. All of these sessions can be one more tool in your belt to being a stronger care partner!
We all have that “hard to shop for” person in our family. You lean towards buying socks or gloves but choosing the perfect gift can be difficult or even impossible! What makes it even harder? If your loved one also has dementia. Here are some gift ideas for someone who has dementia, including options for those at the beginning to the end stages of the journey. Great gifts can provide the individual to have more autonomy and independence, or just simple joys and ways to relax. We hope these will be helpful!
“Stephen had undiagnosed probable Lewy Body dementia and he took cold tablets, which can set the disease process in full blown proportions. And that’s how we started with Lewy Body – jumped in with both feet,” shares Lynn, care partner for her husband. Watch their story.
Tuesday, November 29th is Giving Tuesday, a worldwide day of giving. You’ve probably heard of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday as shopping days – Giving Tuesday is day to celebrate giving! We celebrated live on Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube all day – sharing resources, caregiving tips, advice, and stories. Check out the panels and presentations!
Tuesday, November 29th is Giving Tuesday, a worldwide day of giving! You’ve probably heard of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday as shopping days – Giving Tuesday is day to celebrate giving!
This diagnosis was rendered about five years following Marie’s car accident. At the beginning of that time, we had been wondering if there was something going on, and at the end of it we were wondering just what was going on. Despite the time frame and all of the wondering, thinking, and reading about the possibilities, the diagnosis was still a shock. Essentially, we knew that something was wrong, and just what was wrong now had a name.
If you had a disease such as Alzheimer’s affecting your brain, would you want to know? If so, when would you want to know? If not, why not? Studies show us that this is a complicated question!
In honor of Lewy Body Dementia Awareness month, Insight Memory Care Center, The Kensington Falls Church and The Kensington Reston held a special screening of the film SPARK. We learned more about Lewy Body Dementia through Robin William’s journey and afterwards had a great panel discussion with the Lewy Body Dementia Association. Here are your questions with their answers!
One of the most fascinating findings in studying human health and anatomy is how all of the systems in our body are inter-connected, and there have been recent studies done that have evidence to suggest that one of the most prominent connections is between our gut and our brain.
Have you heard the term “mild cognitive impairment?” If not, you are not alone. A recent survey of U.S. adults found that fewer than 1 in 5 Americans are familiar with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Mild cognitive impairment is the stage between normal aging and dementia. While some cognitive changes are expected with age, individuals with MCI are experiencing more memory or thinking problems than other adults their age.
We are sincerely grateful to Home Instead for being a Diamond Sponsor of our 2022 Paintings & Pairings event! Just like Insight, they believe strongly in the value of compassionate care for those living with dementia. Learn more!
We are sincerely grateful to Retirement Unlimited, Inc. for being a Diamond Sponsor of our 2022 Paintings & Pairings event! Just like Insight, they believe strongly in the value of education and lifelong learning. Learn more about their RUI University!
I am a gay woman in my late 70’s. My partner and I were together for over 40 years. About ten years ago, Marie began experiencing unusual events; first a broken leg, and then a car accident a year later. After that, things settled down for a while; or at least they seemed to. As it turned out, Marie was quite adept at hiding her memory issues; and I appeared to have missed what, to some of Marie’s friends, was obvious. She was becoming forgetful.
Insight Memory Care Center’s Excellence in Memory Care Award recognizes programs and services that are models of excellence and are positively impacting memory care in our community. This year, for our 7th annual award, we have five fantastic finalists, and the winner will be announced the evening of the event! Read more about each of our finalists.
Insight Memory Care Center is so excited to be featured with one of our partners, ShiftMed, to highlight innovative nursing solutions providing care to those living with dementia. The Today Show story takes a look at solutions brought about by the pandemic for home care and in care facilities - where we were highlighted! Watch the story to catch our Executive Director, Anita Irvin, along with Marilu Rivera (who's been with Insight for over 25 years!), and a few of our wonderful participants engaged at the center.
There’s a dance program for people with Parkinson’s that combines music, seated dance, stretch and movement. It’s called Dance for PD®. However, for all the reasons we can list why dance is beneficial to people living with Parkinson’s, it’s how people feel during the class, and by the end of it, that matters most.
I remember my Dad, Steve, spending hours planning out the garden beds; drawing out plots and deciding how to rotate what was planted each year in order to be sure that the soil was in the best condition for each plant type. When my parents retired and relocated to a new home, having space for a garden was a top of the list item for my Dad. Gardening was a passion of his and he was looking forward to having more time for this now that he was retired. Unfortunately, changes in his attention to detail and gardening talent were one of the first indications that my Dad was experiencing some cognitive changes.
Like many families, the McDonald’s first approached Insight Memory Care with trepidation. Tom and his brother had noticed some changes in their dad, Bill, that seemed beyond normal aging. After several doctors’ visits, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. On one hand it was a relief to know what was going on with their dad, but on the other, it mostly meant a whole new journey in front of them.
If you’ve been noticing changes in memory, for yourself or a loved one, making that first doctor’s appointment is a daunting step. Being prepared can help ease the stress and make the most of your time! Here’s what to bring, what to expect, and some questions to ask at your visit.
This year at Insight Memory Care Center, one thing we have been working on is taking a closer look at our words, starting specifically with our mission and vision statements. We spent time in this process talking with our families, staff, and board members. With their feedback, three things came up that we knew our words needed to address.
As we take a look back over the past year, here's a little bit about what we've been up to and what we were able to accomplish over the last year.
In the midst of summer, many of us reach for our favorite beach reads, looking forward to a few hours relaxing. However, as a caregiver for someone with memory impairment, those relaxing moments can be few and far between – and the few you have, that time is valuable! If you’re looking to make the most of your summer reading list, here are a few recommendations that we and other care partners have found helpful.
Insight completes an annual survey each May, asking all of our participants, care partners, and families to provide their feedback on all of our programs. Here is what our families had to say over this past fiscal year, July 2021 to June 2022.
After a rigorous review process, we are proud to announce our selection to the 2022-23 Catalogue for Philanthropy class of trusted local nonprofits! It’s an honor to be selected by community advocates across the region based on our impact and work.
Although LGBTQ+ older adults have clearly seen monumental change across their lifetimes and are often strong, determined, and resilient, many still struggle with complex feelings due to current and past experiences. When we take proactive steps to seek understanding, foster connection, and build trust slowly, we can make a huge impact on others and can create a world where LGBTQ+ individuals with dementia and their caregivers can feel safe and supported.
I recently had a dream that I was in my doctor's office being diagnosed with younger-onset Alzheimer's. I couldn't believe it, no matter how many times my spouse and my doctor told me it was true. I was so shocked and scared...more for my family would endure than for what was happening to me. Most dreams I forget within a few minutes of waking up. But not this one...it really hit home.
Have you ever considered your brain health could be related to what you are putting on your fork? There is evidence suggesting Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases are highly influenced by diet, and are sometimes labeled Type 3 Diabetes. The mechanisms are elucidated in some research connecting diets high in sugar and processed food to inflammation which increases the risk of neurodegenerative diseases.
Many of us worry how seeing our grief affects our loved ones, especially as they may or may not still have the ability to process or comprehend the tragedy. It’s not possible to shield your loved one from everything all the time, so how can you best respond?
Memorial Day is just around the corner, which not only means the start of summer, but also the start of summer travel! Memory impairment adds a level of stress to taking a summer vacation, but whether you’re planning a day trip to visit family or a cross-country excursion, there are ways to minimize the anxiety. Here are a few tips to keep in mind for travel.
Surely when you think of Insight, the first thing you think of is interactive gaming technology, right? Well, we are excited to add the Obie for Seniors system to our day center that uses a projector and motion sensors to turn walls, floors, and tables into interactive gaming centers!
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research in Baltimore, Maryland, are finding out! Scientists are studying the effects of psilocybin (a natural psychedelic found in some species of mushrooms) in people with depressed mood and a diagnosis of Early-Stage Alzheimer’s (AD) or Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI).
Seniors planning to age in place should have a plan for money management, home management, healthcare, meals, personal care and transportation. Volunteer transportation programs can be part of a plan to address transportation for non driving seniors as they age.
The Inova Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders Center offers a variety of educational, wellness and supportive programs for patients, family and friends. In honor of Parkinson's Awareness month, they share some first steps to take upon a diagnosis of Parkinson's or a related memory disorder.
Insight Memory Care Center celebrated a milestone event with the Grand Opening Celebration of its second location, an Early Stage Center in Sterling, Virginia. For the past 38 years, Insight has provided specialized care, support, and education for individuals in all stages of memory loss, their care partners, and the community. The organization has grown significantly since caring for the first three participants in the basement of a church, and this new center in Sterling represents the first time programs have expanded beyond partnerships and shared spaces to a dedicated, second center.
If you’ve had a loved one prone to wandering, you know how stressful this topic can be. The caregiver has to decide how much “freedom” a person with Alzheimer’s disease should have. At some point the person’s need to be safe will outweigh their diminished ability to decide where they want to go and when. Here are a few tips to ease wandering concerns.
I arrived in Sterling all set for the first night and began greeting the five couples who would be participating as they arrived. Because five of the 10 participants had dementia, I hadn’t set huge goals for the evening, I really just wanted everyone to have fun. But as soon as the “practice round” of participants building a tower began I knew this group was special! They didn’t just stack the bricks on top of each other, some built towers to represent places they had visited in the past like the Burj Al Arab in Dubai and their first duty station in Greece.
At Insight Memory Care Center, we are so fortunate to have a fantastic team of dedicated social workers to support our families. In honor of Social Work month this March, we wanted to celebrate and share all that they do! Meet Rodney, Stephanie, Ellie, Jen, and Markita!
An initiative that begun in 2019, Dementia Friendly Fairfax brings awareness and support for those living with dementia and their care partners in Fairfax County, Virginia. Today we’re getting to know Allegra Joffe, Caregiver Specialist, Fairfax Area Agency on Aging, and Diane Watson, Mount Vernon Rep on the Fairfax Area Commission on Aging & Long Term Care Coordinating Council (LTCCC) Member contact person for the Spring Hill Community Village in Lorton, VA. They are two of Dementia Friendly Fairfax’s action team members. Robin McGlothin from Insight Memory Care Center gets the conversation going!
Over 15 years ago, Insight Memory Care Center developed a program designed for couples in the early stage of dementia find new ways to connect with each other, meet other families who are walking a similar path, focus on healthy minds and bodies, and adjust to life with a new diagnosis. The Mind & Body Workshop is often the first program families attend, many still nervous about joining a “memory loss” program. But the camaraderie of the group quickly turns anxieties into anticipation as families look forward to each next session.
After two years of navigating a global pandemic, there are few of us that fail to see the benefits of community support! Many, especially care partners, face significant need for support and a safe space to cope with caregiving, on top of the prolonged effects of today’s global climate. However, sometimes simply starting a support group is not as easy as you might think!
With winter weather comes many things – a pretty dusting of snow, hot chocolate with marshmallows, and lots (and lots!) of indoor time. Freezing temperatures can easily make you go stir crazy, especially when trying to also care for and entertain a loved one with dementia. It’s easy to just default to watching TV all day, but by varying the types of activities you engage in, it really can still be the great indoors for everyone!
Now that the 2022 is upon us, it’s worth reminding our present and future benefactors about how Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs) work and why January is the right time to make your plans!
Receiving a diagnosis of dementia, or having a loved one diagnosed, can cause a range of emotions, from shock to relief. But what happens next? We’ve put together a checklist of things for you, your family, and support team to consider over the next few months (or more!) as you navigate your journey.
New Year, New Classes! Our long-standing caregiver classes have a great line-up for 2022. All sessions are free, and open to anyone interested in learning more about caring for a loved one living with dementia. Speakers include the experts at Insight, along with community professionals who can share additional expertise. We hope you'll mark your calendars to join us for any or all of this year's classes.
When holiday traditions have to be adjusted for a loved on with dementia, it can be hard to – well – adjust! With a few simple tweaks and managing expectations, the holiday season really can be enjoyable for everyone. Whether you
use a tip each day or unwrap them all at once, we hope these ideas can help you create a happy holiday season.
We celebrated Giving Tuesday this year by Getting Ready! We had four great panels and presentations as we shared more about getting ready for the holidays - and caregiving throughout the year! Watch and learn more about what to look for when visiting aging parents, ideas to enjoy the holiday season, and a sneak peek of our new Sterling space!
A great thanksgiving meal is always something to be thankful for, and Insight is truly thankful to be a part of the Thanksgiving Project this year! Several community based organizations came together to provide families with a freshly prepared Thanksgiving meal, refrigerated items, and non-perishable items to enjoy this Thanksgiving. Insight received 19 of these meals for families who otherwise may have had to forego a Thanksgiving celebration.
The opportunity to become a caregiver for a loved one can be a blessing and bring you closer. However, it can also be overwhelming! You have to deal with everything from how to switch a reversed sleep schedule to finding meaningful activities to fill the day. In honor of National Family Caregivers Month, here are 30 top tips from our Caregiving at a Glance Guide - one for each day of November!
In honor of National Estate Planning Awareness Week, we’ve gathered tips for an often-overlooked aspect of estate planning: how to leave money to a charity. Planning to leave money to a charity in your estate plan is what we call “planned giving.” It is a powerful way to leave your legacy and speak about what was important to you, and we encourage each of our clients to consider this legal tool as they think about the future.
Lewy body dementia is the second most common type of dementia, with an estimated 1.4 million Americans diagnosed. In honor of Lewy Body Dementia Awareness Month, we've put together a few resources, both at Insight and in the wider community that may benefit your family.
Receiving an Alzheimer's or dementia diagnosis is daunting enough, but navigating all the options for care can quickly become even more overwhelming. One option that many have never heard of? Adult Day Programs. While we might be a bit biased here at Insight, we believe that day centers and day programs can be the perfect happy medium for many families - support, engagement, and safety during the day, and the comforts of family and home in the evening. In honor of National Adult Day Services Week, here are a few reasons to consider a day program.
The gerontological research team at George Mason University is committed to improving the lives of people living with ADRD and their caregivers. To that end, your participation in our studies help provide critical information about your lived experiences!
When a family member receives a diagnosis of dementia, it’s a huge puzzle to piece together. Our first thoughts usually focus on the person: How can we help them? How quickly might they progress? What kind of care are they going to need? But this is just the start of the puzzle; we often overlook the crucial caregiving piece! The family caregiver’s role is of vital importance. Caregivers have to take on many new roles— doctor, lawyer, financial planner, and caretaker—often not knowing where to start. Here are 5 tips for starting to build your caregiving skills.
We aim to create a community where those affected by Alzheimer’s disease can achieve the highest quality of life. Our board of directors spent many hours over the past year brainstorming how Insight can best continue to serve families living with dementia. They developed new strategic goals to guide us over the next three years. We’re working towards this vision in three ways.
With all the problems across the globe in 2020, it was easy to forget about dementia. Unless your mom was becoming more and more forgetful. Or your spouse was just diagnosed. Or you weren’t able to go visit dad with all the COVID restrictions, and you worried about him even remembering you when you could visit again. While it didn’t make the daily news, dementia is still a problem.
My name is Tom. My brother and I noticed that my father’s memory was just not the same as it used to be. We had gone to see his primary care doctor a few times, and he just chalked it up to old age. We thought it was more than that, so we got a referral to a neurologist. And the neurologist confirmed our fears, saying, “Your father has Alzheimer’s.”
If we've learned anything this year, it's that we're Stronger Together. And every little bit helps. Your small actions - like sharing a Facebook event - join with other’s actions - signing up for Amazon Smile - can add up to something big! Here are a few easy ways you can help Insight Memory Care Center.
Virtual programs can meet the needs of caregivers both near and far. Online support groups have allowed family members living in another state to participate regularly. Education classes are live and recorded - now accessible to attendees on a flexible schedule. Being able to offer care, support and education through a virtual presence provides a unique opportunity for families to stay connected and engaged in a way that was geographically limited pre-pandemic. Read more in our 2020-2021 Annual Report!
If we’ve learned anything this year, it’s that we’re stronger together. Take a look inside the report to learn more about who we are and what we do, how we handled all the changes 2020 brought, and how we ended up serving even more families in need - in the midst of a pandemic! From this report, we hope you’ll take away that Insight has come out of this year stronger than ever. We’re stronger together - and that’s with you. All our participants, families, and supporters who have stuck with us through quite a year - you’re the reason we’re still passionate, and keep helping each family navigate through their own dementia journey.
The results are in! We've recently completed our annual family survey. Each year, we ask our program participants about their experience, likes, dislikes, and what they'd like to see in the future. We were, of course, especially interested to see responses from this past year in light of the pandemic and the many, many changes and challenges we all faced!
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many organizations vital to the community have been hit hard; some struggling to survive. They are looking for financial support now more than ever. In response, many people are opening their wallets to donate to charitable organizations and non-profits. Aside from giving cash or writing a check, there are many other options available when making a charitable donation.
When you hear the word “driving,” what comes to mind? Speeding down the open road, convertible top down, wind in your hair, driving off into the sunset? We’d all like to think of driving as idealistic, but in reality, it’s often more like stoplights, tailgaters, brake lights, and really just a necessity for getting to work and running errands. It is this commonplace driving situation that can become the most dangerous as dementia progresses. Delayed reaction times, poor judgment, inability to stay attentive behind the wheel, and frustration can be highly problematic in the stop-and-go traffic of Northern Virginia. So when is it time to stop driving?
We all associate Alzheimer’s disease and dementia with memory loss, but unfortunately it is much more than that. As we continue to recognize Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness month, let’s take a deeper dive. There are 4 ‘A’s to help you remember common symptoms, plus we’ll review a few more ‘A’s for good measure. Some may experience all of these symptoms in dementia, others may not, or they may see them at different times throughout the disease. But being aware of symptoms to look for will help you be an ‘A’ student – and caregiver!
When you hear the hustle and bustle of our early stage program, Reconnections, starting up at 10:00 am, it’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since we slowly re-opened our center doors. Right now, we have five Reconnections groups meeting – in-person, virtually, and a hybrid summer session!
Insight is very grateful to work with fantastic student volunteers and interns. We know that they teach us just as much as we’re able to impart during their time with us! Hear a little more from one of our recent virtual interns about his experience!
With dementia, there is still a lot we don’t know. Dementia is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States and the only cause in the top 10 without a way to cure or prevent it. But as we recognize Alzheimer’s and Brain Health Awareness Month this June, let’s focus on the positive; there is a lot we DO know! Let’s start with five things we all should know about dementia.
Many people have been to a café, and most are relatively familiar with the term memory – but have you heard of a memory café? Far from a restaurant that makes you memorize a long list of menu items, memory cafés are primarily social gatherings where individuals with memory impairment and their caregivers can come together in a safe, supportive environment, share conversation over a cup of coffee, or participate in fun, simple activities with the group. It’s an opportunity to meet with others for support, companionship, and fun!
We began to see the changes before we had a grandchild. Those were glorious days of appropriate comments, empathy, and mostly the man we recognized. She came and we reveled in our time together. As she grew things changed subtly but change, they did. In the last six months the granddaughter’s growth in empathy, in expression, has progressed while Gramps’s has regressed. What results is a lot of interpersonal drama—much like two children.
End-of-life planning is not just for people who are about to pass away. It is for anyone who wants to ensure they will be cared for when they can no longer care for themselves, and for anyone who wants to care for their loved ones in that process. Here are five critical reasons you should start forming your end-of-life plan today.
Most people don’t want to think about the health-related what-ifs that come with aging, let alone talk about them—especially with family. Nonetheless, having a plan in place that you’ve put together as a family can free everyone up to focus on each other, instead of worrying about where the money will come from
Caregiving is a long, hard, full time job and caregivers are often called the hidden victims of Alzheimer’s disease. Although changes in the brain occur only in the person diagnosed with dementia, changes in behaviors, lifestyle, and demands occur for both the person living with dementia and the caregiver. Get some tips from our guide on managing your job as a caregiver.
At Insight, it’s always been our mantra to focus on what a person CAN do, not on the deficits from memory loss. Who knew that mantra would be a guiding light over the past year! Since the world basically shut down last March, Insight has focused on what we could do: continue our mission of providing specialized care, support and education for families living with dementia, and build on our capacity to serve our community in new ways.
As you may or may not be aware, March is National Social Work month! As a special thank you to our social workers, we wanted to share a little message of thanks for all of their amazing work.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia, accounting for about 65% of cases. Although deaths from other major diseases have decreased or remained the same, Alzheimer’s deaths have increased substantially. In the US alone, AD afflicts approximately 7 million older people, thus impacting the caregivers as well. Since the hallmarks of the disease - plaques and tangles - were discovered by Dr. Alzheimer in 1906, there have been only 2 classes of FDA approved medications developed to treat the symptoms of AD and some other related dementias.
Every caregiver seems to have an arsenal of comical caregiving tales to share with anyone who can relate. When caring for someone with a disease whose devastating effects and chronic long-term stressors are arguably unmatched, it is no wonder we hold so closely to these little pockets of joy. After all, as Henry Ward Beecher explained, “A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs. It’s jolted by every pebble on the road.”
Receiving a diagnosis of dementia, or having a loved one diagnosed, can cause a range of emotions, from shock to relief. But what happens next? We’ve put together a checklist of things for you, your family, and support team to consider over the next few months (or more!) as you navigate your journey.
Each year when February rolls around, we take inventory of the vast amount of LOVE that is shared by all who are a part of our organization. The love on display between Insight staff to one another, the socially distant hugs amongst participants, and the audible laughs and joy that echo Insight walls, all warms us to the core.
Do you ever wonder if a lapse in memory is something more? It’s easy to misplace your keys, forget the name of someone you just met, or make a mistake balancing your checkbook. When is it time to seek a doctor’s advice? Learn more about the 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s.
We are excited to announce that our newest program, Insight at Home, is now being offered 5 days a week! Insight at Home is a virtual program that has connected people across states, counties - and living rooms! - to develop meaningful human connection and engagement.
It seems as though everyone makes New Year’s resolutions – eat healthy, clean out the house, exercise more, the list could go on and on. And despite our best intentions, these resolutions are usually out the window before we’ve even turned the calendar over to February. However, resolutions can be a great way to start off the New Year when you can keep them! Here are 5 resolutions for caregivers that you can actually keep!
To deal with my emotions as caregiver for a loved one, I have started writing short poems, inspired by Haiku. Traditional Japanese Haiku follows strict rules—which I surely do not. But writing when emotions bubble up has been, for me, a way to feel better.
Hi my name is Cathy, and I’m going to share with you my story about dementia. My sweet mother started having some very noticeable memory issues maybe about three years ago. I aggressively started looking for a place for her to live up here in Washington DC because she was isolated living alone in Texas. She agreed to the idea; she was very thankful at the idea of living near a child but she thought, you know, we'll see in a couple years see how I’m doing. But there was no time to wait a couple years, she was not safe being alone. So now I have a roommate!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year – so the song goes. With all the parties, food – ok hold up. Scratch that last sentence. Normally this is the time of year we’d be posting advice for how to manage the holidays with everything that’s going on. Well, it’s 2020. So naturally nothing is going as planned. But, even though our holidays look a bit – okay, a lot! – different this year, here are some tips for making this the most wonderful time of the year, even in 2020.
Katelyn Sloan, our Director of Marketing, sat down with Debbie, who's mother has been a part of Insight's early stage Reconnections program for a little over two years to chat about the shift to virtual programs, ways it works for both her and her mom, and how the program has become "our people!"
Communication is 7% verbal (words and their meanings), 55% voice (pitch, tone, tempo, volume), and 38% body language (facial expressions, eyes, posture, movements, gestures). This is important because people with dementia may no longer understand the meaning of the words but they will be able to understand the remaining 93% of your communication. Make sure your body and voice are conveying the same message your words are trying to convey. Here are some tips for communication.
As a 28-year-old, I’d recently graduated from grad school, and snagged my ideal job in downtown DC as the manager of a health nonprofit. While everything looked bright for my career, my love life was turning out to be more difficult. I was almost 30, still single, and still looking for my soulmate. Because my parents were older, I wanted to start a family sooner than later. That’s when my dad was diagnosed with cognitive impairment.
As much as you may try to avoid it, for many of us caring for a loved one with dementia hospitalization happens. Sometimes it is planned, sometimes unplanned, but it’s always stressful. But did you know that nearly 1 in 5 seniors who are hospitalized return to the hospital within 30 days? This just adds more stress! Hospital re-admissions can be avoidable when you are confident in your loved one’s discharge plan the first time around. Make sure that you can confidently make these 5 statements before leaving the hospital to help your loved one avoid another stay.
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"I like that IMCC focuses on dementia-related problems and provides a focal point for families to network and socially interact in coping with dementia. It provides a community that helps us in our struggle."