Family Dynamics and Alzheimer’s: Adjusting to a New Normal

Family Dynamics and Alzheimer’s: Adjusting to a New Normal

When a loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, the shock of the diagnosis can be overwhelming for the family, and reactions to this news can vary among each family member. As a loved one’s Alzheimer’s progresses, the challenges that come from caregiving and the difficult nature of the disease can cause even more struggles within the family. Alzheimer’s disease can make major shifts in family dynamics, which can be painful if families don’t prepare for them.

Lonette Bentley, Executive Director at Clarity Pointe™ Pensacola, a memory care assisted living community in Pensacola, Florida, helps many families through the trials of a loved one’s memory loss. “No matter what your family structure may be like, Alzheimer’s disease changes everything,” says Bentley. “Normal roles reverse, priorities shift and plans for the future get put on hold. These changes are seldom easy, but with the right...

7 Essential Coping Techniques for Alzheimer’s Caregiver Stress

7 Essential Coping Techniques for Alzheimer’s Caregiver Stress

“If you’re caring for a loved one at home with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia today, you already know how challenging a job it can be,” says Lonette Bentley, Executive Director of the beautiful new Clarity Pointe™ Pensacola in Pensacola, FL. 

“What you might not know is that one of the most serious aspects of the challenge you face is that of caregiver stress. Left unchecked, caregiver stress can have serious consequences for your own health and well-being and leave you unable to take care of your loved one let alone yourself. In fact, caregivers have been called the “second victims” of Alzheimer’s disease.

“Caregiver stress should be taken very seriously, and it is important that you learn important coping techniques that can minimize the dangers.”

Signs You Might be Suffering from Caregiver Stress

Alzheimer’s care experts at...

Memory Care Insights: Understanding Different Forms of Dementia

Memory Care Insights: Understanding Different Forms of Dementia

“Many people today ask about the difference between Alzheimer’s disease and dementia,” says Lonette Bentley, Executive Director of the newly-opened Clarity Pointe™ Pensacola in Pensacola, Florida.

“Their question is not at all surprising because the terms are frequently used interchangeably and often cause confusion. The simple answer is that Alzheimer’s disease is just one form of a group of related cognitive disorders known as dementia. Just as an apple is one type of fruit, Alzheimer’s is one type of dementia.

“More specifically, the term dementia refers to a broader category of physical and mental symptoms that include memory loss, impaired intellectual function and personality change. In addition to Alzheimer’s disease, there are several other disorders that fall under the umbrella term ‘dementia’.

“Memory care experts at the...

Memory Care Insights: How to Have a Healthy and Successful Visit

“Memory care experts often say that taking care of a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or other form of dementia is very much a family affair,” says Lonette Bentley, Executive Director at Clarity Pointe™ Pensacola.

“However, family members and friends are sometimes hesitant to visit and interact with a loved one with memory loss largely because they don’t know what to expect. We often hear comments such as, ‘Will he even know me?’; ‘I don’t know what to say?’; and ‘How will he react?’

“While it is understandable that some friends and family members might feel anxious about making an initial visit, memory care therapists emphasize that social visits are very important to the emotional health and well-being of the person with Alzheimer’s. Avoiding the person simply because of their disorder is not beneficial for anyone.

“One the contrary, visits can be healthy and successful for both parties with some basic knowledge of how...

Memory Care Today: The Value of Humor in Caregiving

Memory Care Today: The Value of Humor in Caregiving

“While it might seem rather difficult – even inappropriate – to associate humor and laughter with Alzheimer’s disease and memory care,”says Lonette Bentley, Executive Director of the beautiful, newly-opened Clarity Pointe™ Pensacola,“Memory care experts now say that a dash of humormight be the best medicine for both loved ones with dementia and their frequently overburdened caregivers.”

“Memory care authorities at The Mayo Clinic and the Alzheimer’s Association say that the appropriate use of humor can provide physical as well as emotional benefits to both loved ones with Alzheimer’s and their primary family caregivers.

“For individuals with memory loss, humor has a calming effect, which reduces stress levels and related anxiety, agitation and aggressiveness. For caregivers, laughter can be a helpful coping mechanism for their stress and provide a better sense of perspective for the many challenges...