February – Heart Health Month

Heart Monitor dreamstime_m_4176220 (2)Caregivers often have no time to care for themselves – aerobic fitness, good nutrition and ways to de-stress take time – something caregivers just don’t have. Heart disease is the #1 killer of both men and women and caregivers are more at risk for this deadly killer. Our articles all month focus on heart health tips, stories and more. We help those who give their heart to others, find ways to care for their own heart.

January – Financial Wellness Month

When it comes to caregiving, the costs can sometimes be emotional, physical and financial. This month our blog articles focus on how to avoid the caregiver cost drain with tips on planning ahead and finding resources to help you save without sacrificing the quality of care.

Read what financial guru Suze Orman learned about long term care costs

Give Thanks by Joining the Movement to Stop Alzheimer’s

Proud Supporter Badge (2)This Thanksgiving holiday, I am asking my friends and family to join me in helping to stop an epidemic we are all facing:  Alzheimer’s disease.

I was named one of the Top 10 Alzheimer’s online influencers by Sharecare and Dr. Oz and I am passionate about advocating and educating about Alzheimer’s disease. I recently attended an educational event sponsored by Banner Alzheimer’s Institute (BAI), a non-profit organization that has developed the Alzheimer’s Prevention Initiative (API) and Registry.  As a paid sponsor for this effort, I want to share some information about Alzheimer’s disease and how you can join the effort this November – which is National Family Caregiving Month and National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month – to make a difference.

Do You Know?

Today, more than 5 million Americans have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s – a number that will triple by 2050.  In fact, every 68 seconds someone new is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.  And this diagnosis is not just for the person affected.  It is a diagnosis for the entire family, especially the 15 million Americans – 1 in every 10 U.S. adults – who care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

The myth is that if you have not experienced Alzheimer’s in your family health history, you don’t need to worry about being affected.  Yet our own longevity is working against us. As we live longer – 1 in 50 baby boomer age women will live to age 100 – and experience medical breakthroughs and new technology, we can diagnose this disease earlier where steps can be taken by families to address the challenges Alzheimer’s creates.

According to Jessica Langbaum, PhD., principal scientist at BAI and associate director of API, “Family history can increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.  However, familial Alzheimer’s disease is rare – less than 1 percent of new diagnoses are caused by genetic mutation.  If you do not have a family history of this disease, it does not mean you won’t get Alzheimer’s.”

For families the diagnosis can be devastating – emotionally and financially. The cost of in-home care for someone with Alzheimer’s averages $76,000 a year and special memory care facilities – assisted living and other senior living homes where staff is specially trained on dementia issues – are growing in numbers but can typically cost more than $100,000 annually and many families experience wait lists for residents. We often believe long term care insurance benefits or Medicare will cover all these costs but that is not always the case and the families are left with financial challenges that can be overwhelming.

Another myth is that we don’t need to worry about developing Alzheimer’s until we are well into our golden years.  While the statistics show that one in every two adults over age 85 will develop dementia, five percent of those with Alzheimer’s were diagnosed as “early on-set” – people in their late 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s.

In fact, just this year, I have interviewed two people who were diagnosed at age 51 and 52 and I met a woman at a conference who was diagnosed at age 38.  The silver lining is that these individuals, along with their families, have time to plan ahead for the impact the disease will have on their lives – an advantage many facing the disease do not have.

Finger Purple String dreamstime_16285962 (2)According to the Alzheimer’s Association, about half of people with Alzheimer’s disease are undiagnosed.  And many Americans do not know the difference between normal memory loss that comes with aging or stress versus concerns over dementia.  The Alzheimer’s Association has developed the 10 Warning Signs of the disease and explains the difference. For instance, forgetting where you put your keys is normal memory loss; putting your keys in the freezer is not.  Not remembering the names of all 10 of your grandchildren is normal aging memory loss; not remembering names for common daily items such the word for “toothbrush” is not.

The Call To Action – Join the Registry to Stop the Epidemic

This November while we gather with family and friends for Thanksgiving dinners, stop and look around the table.  More than likely, someone at the table will develop dementia in their lifetime.

Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death and the only disease on the Top 10 list of killers – along with heart disease, cancer and others – which cannot be prevented, slowed or cured.

By joining the Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry (www.endALZnow.org), you become a key player in helping to find a cure for this disease.  When you register (which is no cost) you will receive:

  • Updates on research, clinical trials, news, brain health information
  • Become eligible for potential study participants for prevention research.  Many clinical trials are not just about people who are ill or diagnosed with the disease. Researchers need 10-20 times the participants to screen for participation and API’s research focuses on people without symptoms. Many research and studies are abandoned because they do not meet their recruitment goals.
  • Some of the research participants simply fill out online surveys which take a few minutes. Others can elect to join in-person studies. It is your choice – there is no obligation to participate in any of the studies.
  • The only information you provide is your zip code and answer whether you have a family history of Alzheimer’s disease.  All information is kept strictly private and confidential and not shared. By joining the registry, you simply say you want to receive information about new research and studies.  You will be asked if you want to join any future studies and can decide at that time if you are interested.

Join Me

Proud Supporter Badge (2)I joined the Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry to help stop this epidemic.  I am asking you to share the link and information with your family and friends – via Facebook, email or otherwise – and help us achieve the goal of registering 250,000 people.  BAI is a non-profit organization dedicated to research, treatment and the creation of new standards of care for patients and families. They also bring together international institutions on scientific collaborations. You can follow their efforts on Twitter @AlzRegistry using the hashtag #endAlznow.

Here is what a couple of other registrants have said about why you should join:

“I joined the Registry in honor of my husband, who was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s at age 50. I can’t bear the thought of one of my sons developing this disease also,” says Dawn Revere.

“Being a caregiver for my mom really taught me the true meaning of love. Taking care of her and being her advocate and daughter at the same time really showed me what love is all about. I joined the Registry to fight against a disease that robbed my mom of everything,” shares Cynthia Manly.

Have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving.

About Sherri Snelling

Sherri Snelling is CEO of the Caregiving Club and author of of A Cast of Caregivers – Celebrity Stories to Help You Prepare to Care, which includes several celebrity stories of caregivers of those with dementia as well as Alzheimer’s information and resources.  She was named #4 to the Top 10 list of Alzheimer’s influencers online by Sharecare and Dr. Oz and is a blogger and writer for the Alzheimer’s Association as well as Huffington Post, Forbes, PBS Next Avenue and USA Today.

Alzheimer’s Speaks November Radio Programs

In celebration of National Caregiver Month and National Alzheimer’s Month in November, two of Sharecare’s Top 10 Alzheimer’s influencers, Sherri Snelling (#4), Founder and CEO of Caregiving Club and Lori Le Bay (#1), Founder and CEO of Alzheimer’s Speaks, are co-hosting special programs for Lori’s Alzheimer’s Speaks Radio Show.  Sharecare is the health and wellness experts site started by Dr. Oz.

Tune in live every Tuesday at 10am CT to join the hosts and their expert guests for “Let’s Talk Tuesdays” at:

www.blogtalkradio.com/alzheimersspeaks

 Nov flyer

Read the press release here:  Caregiving Club Joins Alzheimer’s Speaks to Celebrate Natl Caregiving Month press release 10.30.13

Read more about Alzheimer’s Speaks – click here

Read more about Caregiving Club – click here

Read more about Sharecare – click here

Following is the line-up for the “Let’s Talk Tuesdays” radio guests:

Tuesday, November 5

Lori and Sherri kick-off the “Let’s Talk Tuesdays” with Lori providing information about the growing trend of Memory Cafes for early on-set dementia patients and their family caregivers and Sherri discussing the tipping points that caregivers face and how to better balance caring for themselves while caring for loved ones.

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Click here to listen to the November 5 podcast

Guest on Tuesday, November 12

2013 Brooks Kenny (2)Brooks Kenny is Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Lotsa Helping Hands

Brooks is a nationally recognized speaker in cause marketing and strategic partnering.  She is the force behind the company’s enterprise and marketing efforts working with more than 50 nonprofit partners across the country. She directs the companies branding, marketing and social media efforts by developing partnerships and creating business growth.

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Click here to listen to the November 12 podcast

Guest on Tuesday, November 26

Gary Kaye in the boom boxGary Kaye is Founder and Chief Content Officer for “In the Boom Box”

Gary launched In the Boom Box as the online site dedicated to technology for boomers.  He is an award-winning journalist who has been covering technology since IBM introduced its first personal computer in 1981.  Gary has reported on technology for NBC News, ABC News, Ziff Davis, CNN, and Fox Business Network.  He is a regular contributor to both AARP’s web site and to AARP radio, Huffington Post as well as to a handful of other print and web-based publications where he specializes in issues involving boomers/seniors and technology.

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Click here to listen to the November 26 podcast

Guest on Tuesday, November 26

Ruth Curran Cranium CrunchesRuth Curran is founder and creator of Cranium Crunches

Ruth’s passion, intense study and exploration has been the connection between the brain and daily functioning, particularly what happens to this connection as a result of aging, stress, and disease/injury.  She has developed a wide variety of thinking games and apps that incorporate photo imagery and short exercises that promote stress as a path to better thinking and functioning.  Her games inspire players to imagine, use strategies, and focus while building new neural pathways reducing stress.  Ms. Curran’s background includes work in nonprofit health clinics and homecare providing insights into those suffering from brain related diseases and their family caregivers.  Click here to find the RELAX app created by Cranium Crunches and promoted by Caregiving Club as a wonderful way for caregivers to find balance and better health .

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Click here to listen to the November 26 podcast

Other “Let’s Talk Tuesday” guests include:

Eric Hall, Chairman of the Board of the newly launched Alzheimer’s Global Initiative

Cathie Borrie, author of The Long Hello, will talk about adapting her memoir for the stage with award winning director and playwright, James Fagan Tait

Daniel & Ellen Potts – Let Me Be Your Memory is the first ever middle school language arts/Alzheimer’s awareness curriculum

Stephen Johnston of the GENerator program and Walter Greenleaf Stanford Center on Longevity will discuss a global student design challenge to help early-stage dementia sufferers with safety and independence

Karen Love CCAL will discuss Advancing Person Center Living & Dementia Action Alliance on building alliances for person-centered care

November is National Caregiver Month

Atlas Caregiver MonthNovember and all year long we celebrate and honor the 65 million Americans who are caregivers.  Just like Atlas, the weight of the world is being carried on caregivers’ shoulders. Caregiving crosses all socio-economic boundaries — race, religion, age, gender, geographic location, income level – caregiving is a role most if not all of us will play in our lifetimes.  Read our new blogs all month on how caregivers can balance self-care while caregiving and revisit some of our past blogs about the different types of caregivers here:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Caregiving Children:

Caregiving’s Lost Generation: The Nation’s Children for Huffington Post

Caregiving Men:

Increase of men as caregivers for Forbes.com

Sandwich Generation Caregivers:

7 Ways the Sandwich Generation can beat burn-out for the Examiner.com

Mars vs. Venus On Caregiver Stress for Huffington Post

Sibling Caregiver:

The Sibling Caregiver for PBS Next Avenue

Caregivers of Veterans:

Caregivers caring for those with PTSD and TBI for Huffington Post

Working Caregivers:

Employers must do more to support working caregivers for Huffington Post

Caregivers of Parents:

Goldilocks Syndrome for Forbes.com

Caregiver Tipping Points for PBS Next Avenue

What’s Your Caregiving IQ? for PBS Next Avenue

How to Prepare for Disasters When Older Parents Live Far Away for the Examiner.com

November is National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

Finger Purple String dreamstime_16285962 (2)In November we want everyone to remember the 5.4 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease and the 15 million caring for them.  Every 68 seconds, someone new is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.  One of every two Americans over age 85 will develop dementia and Alzheimer’s disease is the #1 reason children under 18 become a caregiver for a grandparent or parent.  Read our blog articles about Alzheimer’s disease here:

Caregiving’s Lost Generation: The Nation’s Children for the Huffington Post

Alzheimer’s Prevention Initiative Campaign

Caregiving Conversation Between Your Heart and Your Head for the Huffington Post

Dementia Caregiver Stress and Long-Distance Caregiving for PBS Next Avenue

The Longest Day honors the long good-bye

Music of the Night – 2013 Alzheimer’s Association “A Night at Sardi’s” Event

Stars Take Center Stage to Fight Alzheimer’s disease – 2012 Alzheimer’s Association “A Night at Sardi’s” Event

Watch here to view the celebrity interviews on the purple carpet from the “A Night at Sardi’s” Gala Events hosted by the Alzheimer’s Association Los Angeles Chapter:

2012 celebrity interviews from “A Night At Sardi’s”

2013 celebrity interviews from “A Night at Sardi’s”

 

Honoring Veterans & Their Caregivers November 11

Saluting Soldier dreamstime_m_7996079 (2)Every November 11 we commemorate Veteran’s Day – the brave men and women who protect our freedom and American way of life.  Our blogs feature the heroes on the homefront – the 10 million Americans who are caregivers of our nation’s veterans, of which 7 million are veterans themselves.  Read our blogs about the caregivers of veterans here:

 

 

 

Heroes on the Homefront – Veteran’s Caregivers for Examiner.com

Caregivers caring for those with PTSD and TBI for Huffington Post

Enlist now to help caregivers of veterans

Libby Hewes- A Veteran’s Caregiver Goes from Newlywed to Nurse for Caring.com

Rosalinda & Alain Babin – Boomer Parents Proud of Wounded Warrior Son for Caring.com

Boomer Parents Caring for a Veteran Son with TBI for PBS Next Avenue

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month

Read our articles about diabetes prevention and awareness:

Carousel of Hope Ball Honors George Clooney

Watch the celebrity interviews from the red carpet of the Carousel of Hope Ball for Diabetes Awareness

PBS Next Avenue Articles

PBS Next Avenue together

Following are all of Sherri’s articles for PBS Next Avenue:

17 Essential Books for Caregivers

90-Year-Old Billionaire David Murdock Doles Out Advice

Are You a Caregiver or Just a Good Child? (Sherri Snelling quoted in article)

Caregiver Tipping Points

The Emmy Awards We’d Give – TV’s Best Caregivers (2012)

The Emmys We’d Award – TV’s Best Caregivers (2013)

Employers must do more to support working caregivers

Finding Affordable Home Care for Your Parents (Sherri Snelling quoted in article)

For Caregivers, New Tracking Technology Offers Peace of Mind

Healing Power of Pet Therapy

Help Your Parents Join the Aging in Place Revolution (Sherri Snelling quoted in article)

Holly Robinson Peete’s Most Challenging Role – Sandwich Generation Caregiver

How Online Volunteers Support Caregivers

How Strong is Your Living Will? (Sherri Snelling quoted in article)

How to Avoid the Goldilocks Syndrome

How to Care for Your Parent Without Losing Your Job (Sherri Snelling quoted in article)

How You Can Combat the Senior Hunger Crisis

Meet the Hall of Fame Caregiver Who Changed the NFL

New Report Highlights Stress of Long Distance Caregiving

The Osmond Family’s Greatest Act – Winning the Daily Battle Against MS

Patient Navigators – New Help for Caregivers

PBS Powerful Expose on Assisted Living (Sherri Snelling quoted in article)

Rise of Men as Caregivers

Rosalynn Carter – A Pioneering Caregiving Advocate Says More Must be Done

The Sibling Caregiver

Social Media Dangers for the Modern Caregiver

Suze Orman’s Lessons Learned on Long Term Care for Her Mom

A Victory for Alzheimer’s Patients and Caregivers (Sherri Snelling quoted in article)

The Village Movement – Redefining Aging in Place

What Lies Ahead for the Nation’s Caregivers?

What Obama’s Re-election Means for Caregivers

What Parents of Wounded Veterans Need

What’s Next in Caregiver Technology

What’s Your Caregiving IQ?

When Parents Face Driving Retirement – Alternative Senior Transportation

Where do the Candidates Stand on Caregiving?

Why Caregivers Need to Plan for the Worst – Emergency Preparedness

Why Laughter is Crucial for Caregivers

Why You Need to Make Your End-of-Life Wishes Known

 

Huffington Post Articles

Huffington-Post-Logo3Following are Sherri’s articles for Huffington Post:

8 Ways to Volunteer to Help America’s Largest Volunteer Health Care Work Force: Family Caregivers

An Essential Caregiving Fairy Tale: Sleeping Beauty

Caregiver RX for Stress: 3 Steps to Me Time Monday

Caregiving Conversation Between Your Heart and Your Head

Caregiving Goes to the Oscars (2013)

Caregiving’s Lost Generation: The Nation’s Children

Caring for Those Heroes with Invisible Wounds

Creating Company Culture that Cares About Caregivers

How to Manage the Sandwich Generation Juggling Act – 8 Childish Things Caregivers Should Do

Let the Caregiving Movement Begin with the Caregiver Bill of Rights

Mars vs. Venus On Caregiver Stress

Rizzoli & Isles Creator is on the Case

Examiner Articles

examiner_LogoFollowing are Sherri’s articles for Examiner.com:

7 Magnificent Ways the Sandwich Generation Can Avoid Burn-out

12 Tips to Help Prevent Parents from Falling

Caregiving Matchmakers – How to Find “The One” for In-Home Care

Glenn Close on Mental Illness Awareness

Heroes on the Homefront – Caring for a Veteran

How Dogs Help Those with Dementia

How Friendships Help Caregivers Cope

How to Prepare for Disasters When Older Parents Live Far Away

Southern California Hosts World’s Top Minds on Dementia Care

Caring.com Caregiver Profiles

Caring dot com

Following are the caregiver profiles Sherri has contributed to Caring.com:

Debi Cacace – Staying Connected With Her Father-in-Law Through Technology

Diane McGunigle on Women, Caregiving and Heart Health

Dr. Sally Brooks –A Doctor, A Daughter, A Caregiver

First Lady Rosalynn Carter – The Caregiving Pioneer

The Health Risks of Being “The Good Daughter

Libby Hewes- A Veteran’s Caregiver Goes from Newlywed to Nurse

Rosalinda & Alain Babin – Boomer Parents Proud of Wounded Warrior Son

Sara Ballantine – The Magic of Caring for Her Dad

Sarah Abbott and Kate Stukenberg – Blondes vs. Brunettes in the Fight for Alzheimer’s

The Working Caregiver – A Culture of Care at Work Makes All the Difference

 

Forbes Articles

Forbes

Following are Sherri’s articles for Forbes.com:

Caregiver Tipping Points

David Murdock – 90-year-old billionaire and caregiver

Goldilocks Syndrome

Rise in Men as Caregivers

Social Media Dangers for the Modern Caregiver

What Suze Orman :earned Caring for Her Mother