Alzheimer's dining out

Dining out with Alzheimer’s: Purple Table Reservations

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 >

Nasal Alzheimer's Vaccine Study

Alzheimer’s Vaccine: Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital nasal spray trials underway

Could an Alzheimer’s Vaccine Prevent the Disease?

An Alzheimer’s vaccine in nasal spray form has been in development for almost two decades by Dr. Howard Weiner, co-director of the Ann Romney Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Now that novel treatment is in a clinical trial.

How It Works

Weiner explained that the novel treatment triggers the body’s immune system, spurring self-healing.

“What we’re doing, it’s never been done before,” said Dr. Howard Weiner. In five years, he hopes to be able to FDA approval for the vaccine.

Currently, in Phase 1 trials, the study comprises 16 participants with early-stage symptoms of Alzheimer’s. The wife of one of the study subjects, Cindy Goldberg noticed changes in her husband, Jeff, five years ago when he became confused and was no longer able to “do the checkbook.”

The Goldbergs found out about the drug study in December 2021, and Jeff felt he had “nothing to lose except everything to gain” by joining the trial.

After monitoring participants for six months to evaluate dosage and safety, researchers then hope to launch a larger vaccine trial. The principal investigator, Dr. Tanuja Chitnis, believes that they are “making good progress so far” and they are “not seeing any major issues.”

To Weiner, who lost his own mother to the disease, the vaccine is a personal mission.

The Goldbergs are just as committed. One of their grandchildren – an eight year old – recently told them he wants to become a doctor and find a cure for Alzheimer’s as well,  so his “Grampy won’t forget who [he is].”

This new Alzeimer’s vaccine trial has only recruited patients who already show early signs of the disease, but Weiner hopes to make the nasal spray available to at-risk populations before they are symptomatic.

To learn more about the study, visit the BWH Press Release page.

If you or a love one has Alzheimer’s or dementia, find out about Cadbury Commons’ Memory Care Program >

Honoring Grandmothers on Mother’s Day

This Mother’s Day, let grandmothers know how much you care! Whether she lives close by or visits when she can, grandmothers play a special role in families. Grandmothers can be friends, impart wisdom, provide childcare, or be a loving support even from a distance. Sometimes through necessity, grandmothers actually become ‘moms’ to their grandchildren. A positive relationship between a grandmother and grandchild often brings more happiness and stability to the entire family.

Five Reasons Why Grandparents Are So Important

Grandmothers impact the lives of their grandchildren.

As many as 9 out of 10 adult grandchildren say that grandmothers have shaped their values and beliefs, studies suggest. Grandchildren learn about forming healthy relationships from the bonds they make with grandparents and other relatives and the support and intimacy they receive.

Grandmothers can help to reduce household stress.

“An emotionally close relationship between grandparent and grandchild is associated with fewer symptoms of depression for both generations” finds a 2014 study at Boston College.  A grandmother involved in kids’ lives provide special times of creative fun, exploration and play. From a child’s perspective, grandmothers pass on a unique perspective on the world. In a survey from the American Grandparents Association, nearly three-quarters of grandparents believe being a grandparent is the by far the most important and satisfying role in their lives.

Grandmothers are an experienced and valuable resource.

Through stories and lived experiences, grandmothers can often help shape children’s outlooks in ways their own parent or other adults cannot. They also provide a cultural and historic bridge between the generations. Children can more fully learn about who they are and where they come from through this connection.

Grandmothers provide an extra layer of support.

In challenging times – or even in good times – grandmothers can give a sense of security which positively impacts children’s lives, and especially with teens. Close bonds with a grandmother can help teens avoid social problems or lessen acting out. When a child or teen finds it difficult to speak with a parent, a grandmother can give advice or simply be a neutral and empathetic listener.

Grandmothers are often a reliable and affordable childcare option.

According to the 2010 Census, roughly 2.7 million grandparents provide for the basic needs of a grandchild, while even more take care of their grandchildren on a regular basis. If grandmothers are willing and able to be an occasional babysitter or regular childcare provider, parents are comforted by having them in charge.

Whatever the reason, celebrating grandmothers on Mother’s Day is a wonderful way to let them know how much they are valued and appreciated for all they do!

Best Standard of Memory Care for Alzheimer’s

What is Habilitation Therapy?

Habilitation therapy (HT) is part of Cadbury Commons’ Morningside Memory Care program to help people with Alzheimer’s or dementia improve their functional abilities as the disease progresses.

HT was devised in the 1990s by the Alzheimer’s Association, and is thought to be the best practice in everyday care for people with various types of dementia. As opposed to rehabilitation therapy – which is intended to restore a person level of previous function – habilitation therapy is a comprehensive and holistic approach to memory care that aims to extend current levels of functioning and reduce difficult symptoms.

Five Benefits of Habilitation Therapy in Memory Care

Habilitation therapy benefits not only the person living with memory loss but also their family, friends, and. Five benefits of habilitation therapy include:

  1. Increasing the bond between caregivers and patients as they work together on day-to-day abilities
  2. Emotional support where the person in memory care feels respected
  3. Decreased need for certain medications
  4. More positive moments of comfort, and happiness
  5. Sense of purpose for person with dementia

HT can be employed by caregivers outside of a memory care program to help extend functioning, but sometimes the emotional, financial and physical cost of caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia can become too much to manage on a daily basis. For more information on how Cadbury Commons can help your loved one, please contact us or schedule a tour.

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Planning Your Holidays Together Apart

The holidays are near and that means it’s time to plan our celebrations. Unfortunately, with the pandemic in full swing, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year’s will look a bit different than in times past. Although the CDC has released guidelines on having a safe holiday, even the strongest precautions may not protect the most vulnerable population. If you are looking to celebrate with friends and family without bringing everyone into close contact, the following tips can help you enjoy your holidays together apart.

Decorate Your Home

Get yourself in the holiday spirit by decorating. Seasonal decor may include anything from miniature pumpkins to a homemade centerpiece made of ornaments and tinsel. If you have a fireplace, focus on it, and don’t be afraid to change out your kitchen towels and potholders to reflect the current holiday.

Go Virtual

Once your home is decorated, choose a spot to host a virtual holiday. Zoom is an excellent platform to get everyone together, and, as the host, you’ll have more control when Uncle Jimmy starts regaling you with tall tales from his glory days. Set your webcam up in a spot that showcases the best of your holiday decorations, and send out an invite weeks in advance.

If you are not set up with all of the technology you need, now is about the best time to buy a new laptop or tablet to get the job done. There are countless deals online, so you’re likely to score a great discount on a new device when you search for it. As an added bonus, the kids can use it if and when they go back to virtual school. Don’t forget to get inexpensive computer speakers so that you can hear everyone at your online party.

Two additional pieces of equipment to make your virtual celebration a success are a projector screen and a good long-range microphone. A microphone will ensure everyone in your household can be heard, while a well-reviewed projector will give you lifelike visuals of mom and dad. Before you invest in either, make sure they have the features you want, such as high resolution and the right ports to connect to the rest of your setup.

Other Ideas:

  • Watch movies and TV online together using the Watch Netflix Together
  • Send holiday gift baskets from Harry & David, Russell Stover, or your favorite online retailer.
  • Pack a care package with seasonal/regional flavors from your hometown to send to those who are far away. Do not forget to ship a box to your friends in uniform serving overseas.

If You Decide To Travel

Although most of us will stick closer to home this holiday season, if you do choose to travel, do so safely. Basic guidance from the Centers for Disease Control says to avoid close contacts, wear a mask, and wash your hands often. When running water and soap are not available, use hand sanitizer and — perhaps most importantly — do not touch your mouth, nose, or eyes.

The holidays will undeniably look different this year than in seasons past. But avoiding large gatherings, especially if you have immunocompromised or elderly family members, will help ensure everyone’s health and safety. The above tips can help you have the best holiday possible. The final piece of advice: keep an open mind and a positive attitude, no matter what the holidays bring.

By Emma Grace Brown

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