Sunday, August 09, 2009

For You Caregivers

How I got this is beyond me but it may help some of you. You wil nk I did not write thsi spellings is to good. Hope it helps.

Welcome to the Combination Care for Alzheimer's program

As a caregiver for someone who is living with Alzheimer's disease, your role is to make sure your loved one is getting the most effective treatment possible. This means using a combination of approaches—medication combined with other activities can help expand what you're already doing. By enrolling in this program you'll have access to information and resources that can help you learn more about the disease and treatments you may not have considered, such as combination therapy. (Combination therapy is when two Alzheimer's disease medications are used together to increase the benefits of treatment).

Based on what you told us when you enrolled, we have created a personalized Doctor Discussion Guide just for you. This guide offers important tips that can help you work with the doctor and talk openly about your loved one's condition and treatment plan. It also offers a series of questions that may help you have an informed conversation about how you can continue to enhance your loved one's care. As time
with the doctor can be limited, the personalized Doctor Discussion Guide can help you maximize your office visits.

Please PRINT this Doctor Discussion Guide now, review it, and make note of any topics you'd like to discuss at your next doctor's appointment. Beyond this, you will also receive a series of personalized emails over the next two months, providing you with educational and supportive information on how you can enhance your loved one's care. They will also help you learn about ways you can look after yourself as you continue managing your loved one's disease.

Doctor Discussion Guide:

Your Role as a Caregiver Is Essential. As you continue to care for someone living with Alzheimer's disease, it's important that you work as a partner with the doctor. Your doctor relies on you to communicate openly about how your loved one is doing and how treatment is working. The more information you can provide the more you'll be able to help your loved one get treatment that will make life more manageable for both of you.

One treatment option that you and your doctor may want to consider is combination therapy. In the treatment of moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease, doctors may prescribe a combination of medications, Namenda® (memantine HCl)* and Aricept® (donepezil)**, when they believe it will be more effective than a single Alzheimer's medicine alone. Use the following tips and questions to have an informed
discussion about whether combination therapy may be the right option for the person you care about.

Questions to Ask the Doctor:
When it comes to treatment:

1. What additional treatment options are available for Alzheimer's disease?
2. Based on the treatments we've tried before, is there anything more we can be doing?
3. I understand there is an option called "combination therapy." Can you tell me about it?
4. What are the benefits of combination therapy?

When it comes to daily living:

1. In addition to medication, are there any lifestyle changes that you would recommend?
2. What type of mental activities will help my loved one?
3. What type of physical activities will help my loved one?
4. Can you tell me what types of support services in my area are available to us, such as in-home assistance, adult day care, assisted living
facilities, etc.?
5. Can you recommend a support group in my area for caregivers like me?
Tips for Partnering with Your Doctor􀁺

Keep track of changes in your loved one's behavior—It may seem obvious and you may have been doing it for a while, but it's very useful for you to track and tell your doctor about any changes in your loved one's behavior and symptoms such as increased difficulty in performing everyday tasks, agitation, or even increased deficits in intellect and reasoning. Ask family members or friends if they notice any changes that you may miss. And, if you aren't already, consider keeping a journal or diary to note any changes in behavior, so you can share this information with the doctor. You can also write notes on this Doctor Discussion Guide and take it with you to your next appointment.

Prepare for doctor visits ahead of time—Taking the time to write down any questions or concerns you have can help make your office visits more productive. You may also want to bring articles or online resources that you have found with you to the appointments. This way the doctor is aware of what you're learning and where you are finding additional information.

Listen carefully to the doctor and take notes—To be sure that you clearly understand everything the doctor tells you and that you remember it once you leave the appointment, it's helpful to take notes. You can take notes on this Doctor Discussion Guide. You may alsowant to consider using a tape recorder or bringing a friend or family member with you.

Think about yourself too—It may be difficult to consider yourself when so much of your energy is spent caring for someone else, but by staying healthy you're better able to provide the care your loved one needs. Don't hesitate to ask your doctor what you can be doing to take care of yourself so you stay strong too.

*Namenda is indicated for the treatment of moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease.
Namenda® (memantine HCl) is a registered trademark of Forest Laboratories, Inc.
**Aricept® (donepezil HCl tablets) is a registered trademark of Eisai Co., Ltd. and Pfizer Inc.
© 2008 Forest Laboratories, Inc.Welcome to the Combination Care for Alzheimer's program

God Bless You & This Country of Ours!


Anonymous said...

Dear Joe,
Your postings are read with much interest and appreciated greatly.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings.
Despite your struggles, your sense of humour comes through in your writing.
Please know that your efforts are very much admired and that you are thought about each day by many people.
Thank you!

Oscar Scheepstra said...

Hey Joe!

I just saw you on tv on HBO. It was quite nice to meet you - even if it lasted for a few minutes. I must be thankful for you - as I am always surrounded by technology. So I think I must say thank you :).
I like the way you see your condition and your sense of humor. Keep on being that nice person you are, mate. Hope one day we can meet.

Kindest (technological) regards,

Oscar Scheepstra

Angela Scheepstra said...

Hi, Joe,
I am Angela from Brazil, 55, married with a Dutch man.I have just watched the documentary on HBO about Alzheimer. I was really tauched by it. My mother-in-law, 96, - Alzheimer's patient- live with us, hier in Brazil for 10 years and the documentary was very familiar to me.
I whish you and yorur wife the best.
I loved your sense of humor.
Like we say here in BrazilUm grande abraço