So we veered off the senior track a little bit for this first challenge, to focus on helping the animals - but who cares? The point is making people SMILE!
Riza and I brought some donations to the South LA Animal Shelter and were able to give out treats to many of the dogs who are housed there. It made us feel good, and
we made many staff and animals happy.
Check it out on our new video to the left. Subscribe to our Youtube Channel
if you want to see more like it!
Have you made someone smile today? Tell us about it below, and tag #SonRizachallenge
Happy Send Me Back Saturday!
Throwin' it back to this video I created in 2016, for Healthy Solutions Group, to explain the options available to create your own sensory/tactile boards! There are so many options available to bring your ideas to life though, these are just a few! Enjoy, and keep an eye out for some new videos coming soon!
What have you been working on to aid your clients with Alzheimer's or varied Dementias?
Let me know in the comments below!
If you enjoyed this video, check out these two for more!
As I flip through the pages of the quintessential S&S Primlife Magazine, I am both amused and bothered. I have purchased many products from this company, and others like it, which are extremely helpful, and useful for individuals with changing needs. But, as I look through the Cognitive Therapy Section, I see things like the Sensory Activity Pad, selling for $42.99, and promising hours of tactile stimulation with only ribbons, fabrics, and zippers. OK, so I like the idea in theory, very much in fact, but this simple model is just not enough to stimulate all of the senses. It has to be used on a table top as well, and drops between your legs if used on the lap. I know this could be made in a more creative fashion, and could be tailored to each person's unique interests. Now what would this look like?
Would this take extra time for a family member, or staff member to order or to make?
Yes, it sure would.
Would this be a more expensive option, and take a lot of mental energy?
Likely it would.
Would a specialized tactile board be one of the last methods to communicate and provide stimulation to a loved one who has lost so much due to dementia?
Absolutely, and this is what makes it worth it.
To me, a personal inventory of the user's interests, favorite colors, and family input could give all of the answers to create a personalized board in just a few minutes. So why this article? Because professionals LIKE US should be using our logical AND our creative sides, to be create things like personalized tactile boards for our clients. I have been working on a few in the past year or so, and I plan to finish them up in the coming weeks.
Here are some shots of 2 of my creative visions for a tactile board, focused on a design oriented person, who enjoys flowing colors and patterns. Remember, each can be as unique and specialized as you like.
Leave your comments below. Keep in mind this is a work in progress! Would love to see your work too!
A Day With Grandpa Clarence
By: Amanda Andrade
CJ, an active 10 year old boy, wakes up to another boring summer day, until Grandpa Clarence shows up for a visit. CJ thinks that he's in for another long day filled with Grandpa's stories, but is in for a surprise. Dreading the embarrassment he will face with his crazy grandpa, the two take a memorable trip to the beach. Grandpa Clarence shares stories filled with action and mystery from his Navy days, and even spouts about his most infamous pirate fight and capture!
CJ quickly realizes that his Grandpa is not just some old guy, but a smart and fun person,
and someone he can't wait to hang out with again!
Really? What does that even mean?
Hmmmm, well let's break it down - If we are perceiving something, that means seeing it, and trying to understand it...and projection refers to what we see as happening in the present or future, in our own mind's eye. So, that all sounds good and dandy, but how does that effect you? Well, our "projection is our perception." In simple terms, the way that we view the world around us, is a direct reflection of what we are feeling, and seeing in ourselves. Have you ever thought about life that way? Pretty profound, huh?
Unfortunately I am not the first to discover this golden nugget of self-help, and can't take credit for it, but my purpose in sharing this is to empower my readers, young and old alike, to harness your own mental power to your advantage! There are so many simple things you can do to take control of your personal perception, and to align yourself with positive thinking and actions. Don't worry if you are unsuccessful the first few times, or if you quickly turn back to your old ways. Change is hard, and it takes time and dedication to a new way of thinking to master. Remember, one step at a time, one foot in front of the other. Journey with me through helplessness, judgement and fear, and try these - what do you have to lose?
Tip 1: Focus on the positive vision you have for yourself:
It's natural, almost automatic, to live in a fear-based reality in which the worst case scenario plays out in every situation. It comes from defense mechanisms, and walls that we build to physically and emotionally protect ourselves from harm or ridicule. No one wants to feel uncomfortable in their own story, and making waves, living up to our potential is inevitably going to cause some discomfort and surely a fair bit of failure. But, what if your vision was always focused on the positive future to come? What if you believed in yourself enough to think that there is a great chance that you will not only succeed, but thrive with flying colors? This mental focus is possible to everyone, and through such self-belief, miracles are sure to happen! I suggest you create a vision board with positive and motivational images and words to remind yourself to stay in that state of mind, and to jolt you back to it when you feel lost. Do this with magazines, or books, or save a few trees and go digital with a Pinterest board or Evernote creation. You're going to have fun doing this, I promise!
Tip 2: Recognize your roadblocks:
Only you will know your triggers: Those things, situations, and people that put you in the worst of moods or worse, make you feel helpless or even jealous. You may not distinctly be able to point out those things on a conscious level, but think about situations where your chest tightens up, you get very tired very quickly, or you lose motivation to grow. Is that when you are at work? Is that when you are laying around your space alone and in your ugliest pajamas? Is it when you spend time with certain groups of friends? Start to notice these things and situations, and make the appropriate changes! Choose to avoid those roadblocks, and commit to making yourself the top priority in your life! It is absolutely not selfish to shave off the unnecessary, and negative factors in your life, so you can allow your best self to shine through for your family, your friends, and best yet, yourself. You can do it!
Tip 3: Create a full environment fit for your goals:
Just like decorating your home or office in a way you feel comfortable, and that makes you feel inspired, your mental space is yours to create for your benefit. Set yourself up for success, and start with yourself. Notice how your body feels, if you could implement more healthful practices into your daily routine. Could you drink more water? Take a walk? Or try out some new healthy recipes? Then move to your physical environment. How is the natural light, and air flow in your resting and work spaces? Do you have air-purifying plants or flowers in your space? Does your home inspire comfort or provide space for entertaining, and do you feel surrounded by the things that are meaningful to you? Look around and get rid of the things that remind you of negative situations, or that are unnecessary to have. Pairing down your belongings will do wonders for your psyche. Does your work space keep you focused, or is it cluttered with post-its, unhealthy snacks, yet-to-be categorized papers, and that yoga cats calendar you won in the white elephant raffle? Get rid of it all. Take the time to de-clutter your space, and in turn, your mind.
I hope you have enjoyed these 3 simple tips to a more positive perception-based lifestyle! Follow me on Facebook and Pinterest, and let me know how it is going with a comment below!
Hi everyone, long time no see!
You may have noticed that my name has changed, and that is because I am happy to announce that I got married!
2017 has been fun and exciting so far, and there is more to come. Stay tuned for the release of "A Day With Grandpa Clarence" due to be released next month!
See you soon!
When young CJ gets stuck spending the day with his strange Grandpa Clarence, he dreads every single minute. What he doesn't know is that his Grandpa has been on quite an adventure, and today is the day CJ will make a startling discovery. Pirate treasure, mystery, and and adventure spanning over 30 years - Grandpa Clarence is no ordinary man. Sail the seas, and chart the path to untold riches in A Day With Grandpa Clarence.
Written by Amanda Marshall Andrade & Illustrated by Ioulitta Karamaurou & Degphilip.
Genetic testing has come a long way since the 1960's. First we had ultrasounds, next the almighty Amniocentesis, and later Chronic Villus Sampling (CVS). The later two tests carry risks to the fetus that many expecting mothers are wary of, or some simply unwilling to take however small. Well, science has again advanced to a point where we can now test a sample of the mother's blood with no invasive testing. The mother's blood sample contains fetal cells, at a very low level, but with analysis of the plasma of the mother's blood, the cell-free DNA of the fetus can be explored. This is great news for mother's with genetic disorders, those who suspect problems, or older mothers.
Right now you might be thinking, why is she even talking about child bearing, this is a blog about Alzheimer's and Dementia? Well, what if you could pin point whether or not your baby, in utero, was going to have your intelligence, or your mother's farsightedness? What if you knew that it was a girl or boy at just 6 weeks, or they would have their father's athletic ability? What if you knew that they would have Down Syndrome, or later on would develop Parkinson's or Alzheimer's Disease? Would you decide to keep or abort the baby based upon some or all of this information? How would this information change the way you conceive, carry, nurture and become attached to your baby? For many, the choice to have the test would be overlooked, or ignored, if you will. Others would flock to doctor's offices far and wide to get all the information they could to include in their unborn baby's list of accomplishments. Yet another group of us would look at the major illnesses, and think twice about whether or not we would want to raise a child who would ultimately be struck with a terrible illness. These are hard decisions, with or without the additional information we get from genetic testing. I can say that working with a large group of highly advanced Alzheimer's Disease affected residents changes your thinking about how you, personally, want to live, age and die. People living with Alzheimer's and Dementia may have chosen a different path for their children, or not chosen to have children at all if they were aware of their gene pool. How do you think this new technology will impact those of us starting families, and how will our culture change if we take these decisions into our own hands?
I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic, comment below.
Aromatherapy is a fantastic and easy way to improve the mood and ambiance in a private residence or in an assisted living facility. It has been known to either calm the mood with lavender, geranium, or ylang ylang or can spark focus and productivity with rosemary, peppermint or eucalyptus. If you don't have the budget for essential oils and a diffuser, this is a simple and inexpensive way to share the benefits of aromatherapy. Here is a simple way to use the fragrant flowers from your garden to mimic the same aromatic effects!
Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.
– George Bernard Shaw
Welcome to Cre8ive Senior Solutions! I'm Amanda Andrade and I'm a gerontologist, a teacher, and an innovator around all things "wellness." I absolutely love creating new and unique solutions geared toward happiness and engagement for those affected by Alzheimer's or related dementias. Working to solve the individualized and complex problems seniors, and their families face is what inspires me and renews my hope for the future. I hope you join me on this journey, and share your family stories along the way!