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An older adult looking at old photographs in a memory book

Communication Aids to Support People with Dementia and IDD

One of the biggest challenges facing caregivers and loved ones of someone with moderate to severe dementia and/or intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) is communication. Both conditions can affect a person’s ability to understand what is being said and to respond in a clear, appropriate and easy-to-understand way. Because communication can become so challenging, many caregivers and loved ones make the mistake of getting visibly frustrated, avoiding communication as much as possible and even speaking as if the person with dementia and IDD isn’t in the room and by nature can’t understand anything being said.

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By Julie Hayes | 02/15/2023

An older couple reviewing their legal documents

How to Handle Advance Directives When a Loved One Has Dementia

Advance directives—legal documents that allow one to express their end-of-life wishes regarding finances and medical care—are important for all of us to consider as we age as a way of retaining decision-making authority no matter what happens to us. However, end-of-life can be a very difficult thing to confront. Even though advance directives are designed to help us protect our wishes and the futures of our loved ones, it's easy to delay making them until a health crisis happens. But what if that health crisis is dementia?

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By Julie Hayes | 01/17/2023

A caregiver and his older loved one flipping through a photo album

Useful Items to Have in the Home When Caring for a Loved One with Dementia

“Dementia products” are intended to make life easier for a person with dementia and their loved ones. Some of these products can indeed be helpful. However, often they go unused or hold interest only briefly. Before you jump in and try or buy something, do a little advance thinking about what your loved one's needs are, and what useful items you may already have in your home.

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By Jennifer Burke | 12/15/2022

A caregiver embracing her older loved one

Busting 4 of the Common Myths About Dementia

Though around 6 million individuals in the United States have a diagnosis of dementia, there are still many things that are not fully understood about the causes of the disease and how it can be better treated or even prevented entirely. There are also things about dementia that are commonly misunderstood. Stereotypes and broad generalizations about the disease can easily spread and become “fact” in the minds of the general public, ignoring the fact that dementia represents many different diagnoses and experiences, and cannot always be summed up in simple terms.

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By Julie Hayes | 11/15/2022

End-of-Life Decisions for Individuals with IDD and Dementia

This webinar, led by the Hospice of the Western Reserve, assists caregivers in identifying the value of and barriers to recognizing end-of-life in older adults and individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) and dementia. It also emphasizes the importance of Advanced Care Planning for caregivers, and provides tips for healthcare professionals to aid in end-of-life discussions.

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By Sally Tomko | 10/27/2022