ATTACHMENT DETAILS alheimer's awareness month

November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

It’s Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. Check out a quick digest of the Boston Globe’s local list of resources for sufferers and their caretakers:

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new alzheimer's drug study

New Alzheimer’s Drug Cuts Symptoms by 30 Percent, New Study Says

Researchers are excited by the results of a new Alzheimer’s drug—delivered in the form of twice weekly infusions—which appears to slash symptoms nearly 30 percent in about 18 months of usage. This breakthrough could help to improve millions of individuals living with Alzheimer’s both in the United States and across the world.

“This is an unambiguously statistically positive result and represents something of an historic moment when we see the first convincing modification of Alzheimer’s disease,” Rob Howard, PhD, a professor of old age psychiatry at University College London (UCL), as reported in The Guardian. “God knows, we’ve waited long enough for this.”

New Alzheimer’s Drug Lecanemab Show Promise and Provides Clues

The drug companies Eisai and Biogen recently announced results their phase 3, 18-month clinical trial involving the Alzheimer’s drug lecanemab, which is classified as an anti-amyloid antibody treatment. The data shows that lecanemab slowed the rate of the decline in cognition by 27 percent in patients with early stage Alzheimer’s. Moreover, experts say the trial’s success sheds more light on how Alzheimer’s disease may develop and progress.

One theory, called “amyloid hypothesis,” postulates that a sticky compound disrupting communication between brain cells and eventually kills them. “Some researchers believe that flaws in the processes governing production, accumulation or disposal of beta-amyloid are the primary cause of Alzheimer’s,” explains a report from the Alzheimer’s Association.

Researchers caution that some trial participants did experience side effects of the new Alzheimer’s drug. Roughly 21 percent of study subjects reported adverse effects as opposed to nine percent of those taking a placebo. 3 percent of patients experienced brain swelling or brain bleeding according to PET scans.

With more time beyond the 18-month trial period, researchers believe that more benefits may take effect. The National Institute on Health (NIH) is currently funding two additional trials which in order to evaluate people that are NOT diagnosed with dementia but have varying amounts of amyloid brain deposits.  In other words, they hope to see whether or not the new Alzheimer’s drug can slow the rate of cognitive decline in people who are asymptomatic.

When is the New Alzheimer’s Drug Available?

Eisai and Biogen have announced that they plan to file for traditional approval for the drug in the U.S. by Mar. 2023.  To learn more about interventions and treatments that are currently available to improve dementia and Alzheimer’s symptoms, please see your healthcare provider.

Learn more about our Memory Care program >

Read also this article about the possible Alzheimer’s vaccine nasal spray >

WOMEN’S ALZHEIMER’S RISK

New study hints as to why Women’s Alzheimer’s Risk is higher than men’s

Newly identified mechanism may explain Women’s Alzheimer’s risk

According to the CDC, women are nearly twice as likely as men to develop Alzheimer’s disease, but doctors and scientists aren’t sure why Women’s Alzheimer’s risk is greater.

The most common form of dementia, Alzheimer’s affects nearly 6 million people in North America. With the population aging, this number is expected to grow and could even reach as high as 14 million people in 30 years from now in just the United States.

Discovering why and how the disease occurs – especially in women who are more at risk – is essential for early intervention and developing new therapeutics. Researchers have tried to understand why Alzheimer’s, but not other forms of dementia, is more prevalent in females and have hypothesized that menopause, longer life expectancy, and the immune system are all factors.

Researchers at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland now believe they have found some genetic variants on the X chromosome that may be linked to Women’s Alzheimer’s risk.

Medical News Today had a detailed article on this study if you want to read more, but – in essence – researchers found that some genes on the X chromosome do not ‘shut off’ as they should, which can be a contributing factor in women developing the disease.

All human females have a pair of X chromosomes. Early during embryo development one of the X chromosomes will be inactivated, and all cells in the female human body have just one X chromosome that is transcriptionally active. [Researchers have] proposed that one of the genes that escape X chromosome inactivation could contribute to an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s in females. It appears in CellTrusted Source.

Getting Closer to Understanding Women’s Alzheimer’s Risk

These novel findings are helping researchers target new genes for additional studies.

Learn more about Cadbury Commons Memory Care Program


best smart watches for seniors

5 Top Smartwatches For Seniors Of 2022

Which Smartwatches for Seniors Make the Cut this year?

Forbes Health Lists Their Top Five

Smartwatch technology might seem a bit daunting—or even redundant to people who are already laden with smart devices—but smartwatches can be life-changing and potentially life-saving pieces of equipment.

Benefits to seniors are features such as medical alerts, fall detection technology, health monitory (heart rate, oxygen level) and deep breathing or stretching reminders. There are many other health and medical metrics as well.

The Forbes Health editorial team researched  nearly 60 top brand products and, after analyzing the data, ranked them on the following criteria:  price, storage, battery life, customer ratings, etc. See the list below to find out smartwatches for seniors stand out as their top picks.

Summary: Best Smartwatches For Seniors

Product Forbes Health Ratings Price Battery Life Has an emergency feature Learn More
Samsung Galaxy Watch4
Samsung Galaxy Watch4
5.0

5

$199.99 40 hours Yes Buy Now

On Amazon

Apple Watch SE
Apple Watch SE
4.9

5

$279 18 hours Yes Buy Now

On Amazon

Amazfit Bip U Pro
Amazfit Bip U Pro
4.7

4.5

$54.99 216 hours No View More

Apple Watch Series 7 GPS
Apple Watch Series 7 GPS
4.7

4.5

$399 18 hours Yes Buy Now

On Amazon

Amazfit Bip S
Amazfit Bip S
4.6

4.5

$69.99 360 hours No View More

Learn more about Cadbury Commons Memory Care Program.

Read more about other Senior Gadgets


10 Tips for Family Alzheimer’s Caregivers

Family Alzheimer’s Caregivers – Especially Women – Need Self-Care

According to the National Institute on Aging, there are an estimated 11 million unpaid family Alzheimer’s caregivers in the United States for patients with dementia, including the most prominent form of the disease, which is Alzheimer’s disease.

More than one in four Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers are both caring for a child or grandchild AND for someone with dementia at the same time; they are the “sandwich generation.” Over 66 percent of caregivers are women with nearly 50% looking after at least one parent or in-law.  Self-care for these family caregivers – is extremely important not only for themselves but also for their charges. We’ve found a resource for caregivers called the Caregiver Action Network (CAN) which is an excellent organization to find more information, network, and participate in support forums.

Caregiver Action Network (CAN)

CAN is the nation’s leading family caregiver organization working to improve the quality of life for the more than 90 million Americans who care for loved ones with chronic conditions, disabilities, disease, or the frailties of old age. CAN serves a broad spectrum of family caregivers ranging from the parents of children with significant health needs, to the families and friends of wounded soldiers; from a young couple dealing with a diagnosis of MS, to adult children caring for parents with Alzheimer’s disease. CAN (the National Family Caregivers Association EIN 52-1780405) is a non-profit organization providing education, peer support, and resources to family caregivers across the country free of charge. Here are some quick tips with links to their site for more in-depth articles, plus a shareable infographic.

10 Tips for Alzheimer’s Caregivers

  1. Seek support from other caregivers. You are not alone!
  2. Take care of your own health so that you can be strong enough to take care of your loved one.
  3. Accept offers of help and suggest specific things people can do to help you.
  4. Learn how to communicate effectively with doctors.
  5. Caregiving is hard work so take respite breaks often.
  6. Watch out for signs of depression and don’t delay getting professional help when you need it.
  7. Be open to new technologies that can help you care for your loved one.
  8. Organize medical information so it’s up to date and easy to find.
  9. Make sure legal documents are in order.
  10. Give yourself credit for doing the best you can in one of the toughest jobs there is!

 

CAN Offers A Caregiver Help Desk:

  • Have confidential conversations with caregiving experts about your caregiving questions
  • Reach out by phone, email and live chat—whatever is most convenient for you
  • Access experts Monday through Friday, from 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM Eastern time.

For More Information Family Alzheimer’s Caregivers Can Contact CAN:

Caregiver Action Network
Caregiver Help Desk: (855) 227-3640
Office Phone: (202) 454-3970
E-mail: [email protected]

(Read also: Compassion Fatigue – What is it?)

Learn more about Cadbury Common’s Memory Care Program >

Alzheimers Association International Conference

Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2022 Highlights

SAN DIEGOAug. 3, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — New research reported at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference® (AAIC®) 2022 covered the breadth of Alzheimer’s and dementia research, including the basic biology of aging and the brain, risk factors and prevention strategies, and caregiving and living well with the disease.

AAIC is the premier annual forum for presentation and discussion of the latest Alzheimer’s and dementia research. This year’s hybrid conference event took place both virtually and in-person in San Diego and attracted over 9,500 attendees and more than 4,000 scientific presentations.

“With record public and private research investment it’s an exciting time for Alzheimer’s and dementia research,” said Heather M. Snyder, Ph.D., Alzheimer’s Association vice president of medical and scientific relations. “Researchers are advancing our understanding of the disease by exploring biomarkers, discovering potential ways to reduce risk, and working to move promising treatments and diagnostic tools forward into clinical testing. The Alzheimer’s Association is leading the fight through funding, convening, publishing, partnerships, advocacy and services.”

Advances in Treatments, Clinical Trial Results

The Alzheimer’s Association highlighted results from a variety of clinical trials at AAIC 2022. Encouraging and supporting a diverse treatment pipeline is essential to achieving the Association’s vision of a world without Alzheimer’s and all other dementia. Here are two examples:

The EXERT Study is the longest-ever Phase 3 study of exercise in older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). The results, first reported at AAIC 2022, are especially noteworthy since the trial was conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic  80% of participants complied with their exercise regimen and completed the study. After 12 months, people with MCI in both the aerobic exercise intervention arm and stretching arm showed no cognitive decline. A comparison group of other older adults with MCI showed significant cognitive decline over 12 months. The findings from EXERT suggest that regular physical activity, even modest or low exertion activity such as stretching, may protect brain cells against damage.

At AAIC 2022, T3D Therapeutics reported positive interim results from their Phase 2 trial of T3D-959, which seeks to overcome insulin resistance in the brain and restore the brain’s metabolic health. These encouraging preliminary results are a positive sign, and final results are anticipated in 2023. As understanding of the biological underpinnings of Alzheimer’s expands, the opportunity to advance novel approaches such as T3D-959 will also expand.

Also at AAIC, the Alzheimer’s Association announced the launch of the Alzheimer’s Network for Treatment and Diagnostics (ALZ-NET), which will collect long-term clinical and safety data from patients treated with FDA-approved Alzheimer’s disease therapies in real world clinical settings. ALZ-NET is the first network developed specifically for new FDA-approved Alzheimer’s treatments, collecting evidence on effectiveness and side effects over a long period of time.

Experiences of Racism Associated with Poor Memory, Increased Cognitive Decline

Experiences of structural, interpersonal and institutional racism are associated with lower memory scores and worse cognition in midlife and old age, especially among Black individuals.

  • In a study of nearly 1,000 middle-aged community-dwelling adults (55% Latinx; 23% Black; 19% White), exposure to interpersonal and institutional racism was associated with lower memory scores; the associations were strongest in Black individuals. Experiences of structural racism were associated with lower episodic memory among all racial and ethnic groups included in the study.
  • In a study of 445 Asian, Black, Latino, White and multiracial people age 90 and above, individuals who experienced wide-ranging discrimination throughout life had poorer long-term memory in late life compared to those who experienced little to no discrimination.
History of Hypertensive Disorders During Pregnancy Linked to Increased Risk of Dementia

Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP) — conditions of high blood pressure including chronic/gestational hypertension and preeclampsia — have been strongly linked to heart disease in later life, but before today, little research has connected these disorders with cognition. Experiences of high blood pressure disorders during pregnancy are associated with an increased risk of vascular dementia and accelerated brain aging, according to several studies at AAIC 2022:

  • Women with a history of HDP were more likely to develop vascular dementia — a decline in thinking skills caused by conditions that block or reduce blood flow to the brain — later in life, compared to women with non-hypertensive pregnancies.
  • Experience of HDP, specifically high blood pressure during pregnancy, was associated with white matter pathology, a predictor of accelerated cognitive decline, 15 years after pregnancy.
  • Women with severe preeclampsia had significantly higher levels of beta amyloid, an Alzheimer’s-related brain change, as measured in blood compared to those with non-hypertensive pregnancies.
Persistent Loss of Smell Due to COVID-19 Closely Connected to Long-Lasting Cognitive Problems, and ICU Stays May Double Risk of Dementia in Older Adults

New insights into factors that may predict, increase or protect against the impact of COVID-19 and the pandemic on memory and thinking skills were revealed by multiple studies at AAIC 2022. A research group from Argentina found that persistent loss of the sense of smell may be a better predictor of long-term cognitive and functional impairment than severity of the initial COVID-19 disease. In a large study population from nine Latin American countries, experiencing a positive life change during the pandemic, such as more quality time with friends and family, reduced the negative impact of the pandemic on memory and thinking skills. Finally, hospitalization in the intensive care unit (ICU) was associated with double the risk of dementia in older adults, according to Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center in Chicago. These findings could be significant given the tremendous upsurge in ICU hospitalizations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ultra-Processed Foods May Speed Cognitive Decline

A study presented at AAIC 2022 finds that people who eat large amounts of ultra-processed foods have a faster decline in cognition. Researchers studied 10,775 people over eight years and found that high consumption (more than 20% of daily intake) of ultra-processed foods led to a 28% faster decline in global cognitive scores, including memory, verbal fluency and executive function. Ultra-processed foods go through significant industrial processes and contain large quantities of fats, sugar, salt, artificial flavors/colors, stabilizers and/or preservatives. Examples include sodas, breakfast cereals, white bread, potato chips and frozen “junk” foods.

Lower Socioeconomic Status, Persistent Low Wages Linked to Dementia Risk and Faster Memory Decline

Socioeconomic status (SES) — reflecting both social and economic measures of a person’s work experience, and of an individual’s or family’s economic access to resources and social position — has been linked to both physical and psychological health and well-being. Socioeconomic deprivation, including neighborhood disadvantages and persistent low wages, are associated with higher dementia risk, lower cognitive performance and faster memory decline, according to several studies:

  • Individuals who experience high socioeconomic deprivation — measured using income/wealth, unemployment rates, car/home ownership and household overcrowding — are significantly more likely to develop dementia compared to individuals of better socioeconomic status, even at high genetic risk.
  • Lower-quality neighborhood resources and difficulty paying for basic needs were associated with lower scores on cognitive tests among Black and Latino individuals.
  • Compared with workers earning higher wages, sustained low-wage earners experienced significantly faster memory decline in older age.
  • Higher parental SES was associated with increased resilience to the negative effects of Alzheimer’s marker ptau-181, better baseline executive function and slower cognitive decline in older age.
About the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference® (AAIC®)

The Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) is the world’s largest gathering of researchers from around the world focused on Alzheimer’s and other dementias. As a part of the Association’s research program, AAIC serves as a catalyst for generating new knowledge about dementia and fostering a vital, collegial research community.
AAIC 2022 home page: www.alz.org/aaic/
AAIC 2022 newsroom: www.alz.org/aaic/pressroom.asp
AAIC 2022 hashtag: #AAIC22

About the Alzheimer’s Association®

The Alzheimer’s Association is a worldwide voluntary health organization dedicated to Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Our mission is to lead the way to end Alzheimer’s and all other dementia — by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s and all other dementia®. Visit alz.org or call 800.272.3900.

SOURCE Alzheimer’s Association

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Mayo Clinic Q&A on Memory Loss

Recently, the Mayo Clinic News Network put out an interesting article about signs of memory loss based on a question from one of their readers. Are you wondering about a loved one’s memory? Take a read and learn about possible changes in memory and steps to take:

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: My mom is in her 80s, and I’ve noticed that her memory seems to be slipping. Sometimes she forgets a person’s name or can’t recall what she did the day before. Is it normal to have these types of lapses at her age or should I be worried they are signs of something more serious?

ANSWER: It is understandable that you are concerned about changes in your mother’s memory. Memory lapses and modest decline in thinking skills are common as people age. There’s a difference, however, between normal changes in memory and  associated with  such as Alzheimer’s disease and Lewy body dementia. And some memory problems are the result of treatable conditions.

It may help to think of  as running on a continuum, with each person’s memory and cognitive functioning falling somewhere along it. Some people have sharp memories and can recall even the smallest details, while others struggle to remember big events. Memory changes can be viewed as movement along this continuum.

Minor changes in memory as a person ages are considered normal. This includes misplacing reading glasses or occasionally having difficulty finding the right word. These situations are common and within the range of normal memory changes. These types of lapses don’t interfere with daily life and are not considered signs of dementia.

Mild cognitive impairment is a larger change along the memory continuum. This occurs if a person is experiencing memory changes in addition to cognitive changes, such as thinking or reasoning skills. Symptoms could include short-term memory problems, repeating conversations and questions, and increased reliance on lists. However, people with mild cognitive impairment usually can manage their own finances, medications and household chores, and drive without concern.

For some people,  does not worsen. Their memory and function remain constant for the rest of their lives. For others, it is an early symptom of a neurodegenerative condition such as Alzheimer’s disease.

You may be concerned that your mother is developing dementia. It’s important to know that dementia is not a specific disease, but rather a group of symptoms that affects memory, thinking and social abilities severely enough to interfere with daily life. Unfortunately, dementia has a negative connotation. What it really means is that a person’s brain function is impaired enough that the person cannot live alone and requires help with some daily tasks. Memory loss that disrupts daily life is one of the first and more recognizable signs of dementia.

Other early signs can include:

    • Asking the same questions repeatedly.
    • Forgetting common words when speaking.
    • Mixing words up, such as saying “bed” instead of “table.”
    • Taking longer to complete familiar, simple tasks, such as operating a microwave or washing machine.
    • Being unable to perform complex tasks with many steps, such as following a recipe or playing a board game.
    • Misplacing items in inappropriate places, such as putting a wallet in the refrigerator.
    • Getting confused while walking or driving in a familiar area.
    • Transposing numbers, such as when balancing a checkbook or dialing a telephone number.
    • Limiting participation in conversations.

I recommend that you schedule an appointment for your mother with a memory care expert. Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative conditions cannot be diagnosed by completing a one-time memory test.

Regardless of diagnosis, here are a few things that you can do to help your mother’s memory:

    • Encourage independence and purpose. Every person wants to feel purposeful, so help your mother remain active and performing  for as long as possible. You may need to modify some activities. For example, labeling cabinet doors or writing instructions for household appliances can provide a sense of independence.
    • Foster social interaction. Research has shown that regular social interaction slows cognitive decline. However, when people start to have memory problems, they often pull back socially to avoid embarrassment. Schedule social time with a small, safe group who is familiar with your mother so she doesn’t need to worry or feel self-conscious about repeating stories or asking questions.
    • Talk about preferences. Some people want to know if they have already asked a question or be gently reminded. This could agitate others. Ask her which option is preferred and recognize that this could shift as conditions change. Identify a way to confirm that she would like help. A simple nod or finger flick could signify that it is OK to lend support or assistance.
    • Create a predictable and soothing environment. Establishing and strengthening routine habits and minimizing memory-demanding tasks can make life easier for all. Keep her keys, purse and regularly used items in the same place. Post a large calendar in a common area to track daily schedules and appointments. Remove excess clutter to create a restful environment.
    • Encourage exercise. Your mom may not be able to run a marathon anymore, but regular movement improves blood flow, moderates mood and improves sleep. Gardening, walking and dancing are low-impact, safe activities for many people.
    • Plan healthy meals. People with memory concerns may forget to eat, lose interest in preparing meals or not eat a healthy combination of foods. Make every calorie beneficial by planning nutritionally dense meals that are rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes, fish, healthier fats, and herbs or seeds.

It can be challenging to cope with cognitive and memory changes. Remember to surround yourself with a care team that includes neurology, neuropsychology and psychiatry, as well as other practitioners who can offer more advice.

Learn more about Cadbury Commons Memory Care >

2022 Walk to End Alzheimer’s – Greater Boston

Walk to End Alzheimer’s – Register / Volunteer

Are you passionate about putting an end to Alzheimer’s? Are you looking for ways to give back? Would you like to meet new people while supporting a great cause? The Alzheimer’s Association is moving forward with planning for October’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s which is the world’s largest event to fight Alzheimer’s. Details below about how to register, volunteer, or simply attend to cheer on in the Greater Boston area.

Schedule of Events:
Walkers Welcome & Route Opens at 8:30 a.m. | Ceremony at 10 a.m. | Walk begins after Ceremony

Location:
DCR North Point Park | 6 Museum Way Cambridge, MA 02141 | Map it
Route Length:

Contact:
Melissa Shirtcliff | 617.393.2094 | [email protected]

General Information:
Where do the funds go?
All funds raised through Walk to End Alzheimer’s further the care, support and research efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association. The Alzheimer’s Association is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization. All donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.

Do I have to register in order to Walk?
Yes, we want to know you’re walking with us and need every participant to sign a standard waiver through their official registration. There is no registration fee for Walk. However, we ask every participant to make a personal donation and commit to raising funds in the fight against Alzheimer’s.

Do I need to register my children for Walk?
Yes, children should register. Parents/guardians can register children online or complete an offline registration form and sign the waiver on behalf of the child.

Does every participant get a T-shirt?
Every registered participant who achieves the fundraising minimum of $150 will receive an official Walk to End Alzheimer’s T-shirt via USPS. To receive a shirt in time for Walk day, participants must raise the T-shirt minimum at least four weeks prior to the event.

How do I get my offline donations to show up on my personal fundraising web page?
Donations can be made offline by submitting a check or money order by mail or hand-delivering to the local Alzheimer’s Association office. Be sure to include your offline donation form, which can be found in your Participant Center or on your fundraising web page, to make sure you receive credit for the donation. Donations typically take one to two weeks to show up on your web page. Don’t want to wait? You can also deposit checks directly to your Walk page from the Walk to End Alzheimer’s mobile app for iPhone or Android.

Event Specifics
Will there be COVID-19 safety measures in place at Walk?
The health and safety of our participants, staff and volunteers are our top priorities. Walk events will be designed with this in mind including a venue layout that allows for physical distancing, hand sanitizer stations, contactless registration and more. The Association will continue to closely monitor Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state and local guidelines and make adjustments to our event-day safety protocols as needed.

Are pets, strollers, bicycles and skates allowed on Walk day?
We do allow strollers, but for everyone’s safety, we discourage skateboards, bicycles, inline skates and wheelie footwear. Depending on the Walk location rules, well-behaved dogs are welcome, but must be on a leash at all times.

What happens if it rains?
Walk is a rain or shine event. However, in the case of severe weather, we will cancel. If this is the case, we will update our Walk homepage on or before the morning of the event.

We need volunteers! Know anyone who might be interested in helping us on the day of the event?
We need volunteers to help with set-up, clean-up, registration, water stops, Promise Garden and so much more. All interested volunteers should visit our volunteer page for more information about event day roles and responsibilities.

How do I get a Promise Garden Flower?
Each registered participant will receive a Promise Garden flower. Please choose the color that best represents your connection to the disease.

Blue represents someone living with Alzheimer’s or another dementia
Purple is for those who have lost a someone to the disease.
Yellow represents someone who is currently supporting or caring for a person living with Alzheimer’s.
Orange is for those who support the cause and the Association’s vision of a world without Alzheimer’s and all other dementia.

Still have questions?

Check out our FAQs page, or contact:
Coordinator: Melissa Shirtcliff
Phone: 617.393.2094
Email: [email protected]

Consider joining the Walk to End Alzheimer’s – Greater Boston Facebook page>

Learn about Cadbury Commons’ Memory Care Program >

Alzheimer's dining out

Dining out with Alzheimer’s: Purple Table Reservations Copy

Dining out with Alzheimer’s Isn’t a Piece of Cake

Going out to dine at a restaurant should be an enjoyable and relaxing experience with friends and family.  Sometimes, however, it can be difficult when a loved one is suffering from Alzheimer’s, dementia or other cognitive or physical impairments. If servers and restaurant staff are not prepared, it can be a frustrating or even embarrassing time. Often caregivers will opt out of going to restaurants to avoid stigma or hassle. Purple Table wanted to change this!

What is the Purple Table Service?

The service is the brainchild of owner Jennifer Apazicis, whose mother, Linda, died from Alzheimer’s disease in 2013. The Purple Table Reservation flag and restaurant training program are designed for those who are living with Dementia/Alzheimer’s Disease, Autism, PTSD, TBI, a hearing or vision impairment, or other physical or cognitive condition that may benefit from a more predictable environment and additional accommodations when dining out.

“Someone who maybe has a child with autism, someone who maybe has a hearing impairment or someone who has a service dog — there’s a lot of things that can make the restaurant experience stressful,” said Apazicis. “Anyone that makes a purple table reservation just needs extra patience, a quieter area and extra love from their server.”

A little extra patience and understanding go a long way.

When you make a Purple Table reservation, no details are necessary (unless you choose to provide them), because the restaurant and staff do everything possible to ensure your dining experience is an enjoyable success.  They will provide appropriate accommodations with extra patience and attention from trained staff who understand your needs and how to accommodate them.

Restaurants that are offer Purple Table Reservations receive staff training from the organization and can then advertise this service to customers. Establishments that are ready to commit, can also access to an online training tool kit. In all of the popular reservation systems, restaurants can add custom amenity and reservation flags, so that Purple Tables will integrate seamlessly.

How to Make Reservations

Diners can make reservations directly from an app (Android) or, when you’re out and about, simply look for the “Purple Table Reservations Accepted” decal displayed in a window.

Show Your Support

If you have a favorite restaurant in your neighborhood, consider suggesting they look into Purple Table. It’s a win-win for people with memory care issues and their companions who want a smooth dining experience and restaurants that want to court new customers.  Show your support by sharing the Purple Table logo and website on social media. Or just spread the word with #PurpleTables#ASeatForEveryone

Learn about Cadbury Commons’ Memory Care Program >

Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month

Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month

It’s Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month!

The Alzheimer’s Association recently posted an article detailing some common misperceptions about the condition as described by individuals with early-stage Alzhiemer’s Disease (AD).

AD affects over 6 million people in the US alone and is the most common form of dementia, which is characterized by:

  • memory loss
  • language problems
  • changes in mood
  • and deficits in thinking and reasoning that interfere with daily life activities.

AD is a disease that progresses over time. AD sufferers in the early stages can still function independently but generally need caregivers as the disease progresses. With increased testing, people are becoming diagnosis earlier than before.

Individuals with a recent diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease may have a difficult time coping with their diagnosis and need support. Although friends and family members often have the desire to be supportive, they may avoid interacting with the individual with AD due to the fear of negatively impacting their mood.

Avoiding engagement with individuals with AD promotes a sense of isolation and stigma, and can harm their feeling of self-worth. The goal of Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month is to help discuss common misperceptions about AD:

1. Identify Goals Early

Individuals still capable of living independently can benefit from setting goals to accomplish. Friends, family and caregivers can help with planning for their future and maintaining quality of life as their disease progresses.

2. Focus on the Person, Not the Disease

Alzheimer’s patients retain their sense of self until the final stages of dementia and the disease doesn’t affect the person’s choice of daily life pursuits or the relationships they enjoy. Unfortunately, sometimes a diagnosis can change the way they are treated or perceived even those individuals with AD continue to enjoy their usual activities and being social until the later stages of the illness. Listening patiently and avoiding patronization or “elderspeak” is key.

“At every stage of the disease, it is more important that a person interacts with others and less important exactly what is said,” explains Dr. Peter Rabins, professor emeritus at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD in Medical News Today article. “People sometimes worry that they will say the ‘wrong thing.’ The key, though, is to talk with the person at whatever level they are able to interact. Talk about old times, good memories, and how their favorite sports team is doing. Go on walks, bring the grandchildren over, or perhaps just sit and hold hands. Even at the end stage of the disease communication through touch can be powerful and rewarding.”

3. Symptom Fluctuation

Depending on the day, individuals with AD may demonstrate improved cognitive function or mood, or they may exhibit more severe symptoms such as anxiety, agitation, irritability, and increased word repetition. Understanding that these behaviors may be beyond the control of AD sufferers can help loved ones and caregivers to me more patient.

4. Early-onset AD

The perception that AD only affects older people may cause younger individual to ignore symptoms or delay getting the help they need. Although the majority of AD cases involve people over the age of 65, younger people account for 5-10% of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Early detection can aid in delaying the progression of the disease and fining treatment sooner.

5. Direct Communication

Talking about the person with AD to others (such as a spouse or caregiver) while they are present in the room can be patronizing and isolating. It is difficult sometimes to know how to react after a loved one’s diagnosis, but conversing directly with the person about their health is more likely to be received as being caring and thoughtful.

6. Avoid Making Judgements

Denial is a common reaction among friends and family members after a person is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and that can lead to dismissive comments such as “you’re too young” or “you don’t seem to be any different.”  These kinds of statements disregard both the psychological impact of diagnosis experienced by the patient and the mental and physical challenges caused by the disease itself.

Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month: Increasing Awareness and Acceptance

Dismantling the stigmatization of dementia through public awareness campaigns can improve how people seek and receive services and support. Encouraging communities to become more ‘dementia friendly’ is an important step:

“We too often view Alzheimer’s through the biomedical lens of disease, but as people living with dementia emphasize, they are still ‘here’ and have dreams and preferences that we must honor, ” states Dr. Joseph Gaugler, the director of the Center for Healthy Aging and Innovation at the University of Minnesota.

Learn more about our Memory Care program at Cadbury Commons.