Gary Joseph LeBlanc

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Mr. Gary LeBlanc is a health columnist specializing in dementia care. He has authored over 350 articles on the subject.

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Lessons learned from caregiving

Mr. Gary LeBlanc is a health columnist specializing in dementia care. He has authored over 350 articles on the subject.

After everything you as a caregiver have endured, in the end the reality is that life goes on. Your days will without a doubt roll into nights. The Earth will still revolve around our Sun in a year’s time. None of this will stop; it just may feel like it.

Stranger in the house

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Throughout my years of educating caregivers on dementia care, I’ve constantly stressed how important it is that caregivers understand the difference between a delusion and a hallucination. Caregivers need to be able to correctly describe what the patient is experiencing, to his or her physician. The reason being: we don’t want our healthcare professionals to start throwing heavy dosages of medications at them when our loved ones are only delusional.

The Dilemma of Crushing Pills

Mr. Gary LeBlanc is a health columnist specializing in dementia care. He has authored over 350 articles on the subject.

One of the jobs that every caregiver will have to perform is the daily dispensing of medications. Dealing with all the new drugs in today’s world, this task can become extremely confusing. In a twenty-four-hour period, one may have to administer medications as much as four or five times, possibly more in some cases.

B-12 deficiency or Alzheimer’s?

Mr. Gary Joseph LeBlanc is a health columnist specializing in dementia care. He has authored over 350 articles on the subject.

Okay. You’re starting to show signs of dementia. Has your primary physician ordered a complete blood work-up to see if you may be vitamin B deficient? I believe every doctor needs to start any dementia diagnosis right there. Unfortunately, this is something that many of us––including our doctors—rarely think about. It’s too common for medical professionals to jump to a diagnosis of a dementia-related disease such as Alzheimer’s.

The largest Christmas present

I will always have, this one special Christmas throughout my childhood that I will never be able to forget. That year’s joyous holiday season started getting intense, a couple of weeks’ prior of the “BIG” day. My older brother (God rest his soul) brought in this present, (with my name on it mind you), that was so large, so gigantic, he had to bring it in through the double glass sliding doors.

Common Sense Caregiving: The Closet of Simplicity

Mr. Gary LeBlanc is a health columnist specializing in dementia care. He has authored over 350 articles on the subject.

I have always said that keeping your loved one in a simple routine is number one in caring for people living with dementia. This applies with regard to a wardrobe as well. Keep it simple, as in loose fitting and easy to put on and take off. Also be sure to limit clothing choices, otherwise he or she will become overwhelmed and easily confused. There will be times when you may wonder why your loved one wants to wear the same shirt every day; well, there might not be a “yesterday” belonging to his or her memory at that moment.

Dysphagia during the latter stage of dementia

The deterioration of the brain caused by Alzheimer’s and many other dementia-related diseases will eventually impair the nerves and muscles that control the ability to swallow. This is known as “dysphagia.”
As dementia patients’ swallowing reflex becomes marred, there are certain symptoms caregivers need to be aware of as their disease advances. Among these are:
• the improper inhalation of food and fluids, causing such particles to aspirate through the windpipe (trachea) and into the lungs: very dangerous.

• frequent choking

• hoarseness in voice

Don't Let the Hands of Dementia Lie

Mr. Gary Joseph LeBlanc is a health columnist specializing in dementia care. He has authored over 350 articles on the subject.

While caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s or a dementia-related disease, always remember this: Idle hands are the devil’s toys, especially in the latter stages of the disease.

Redirection through touch is something caregivers need to learn. Place a photo album, playing cards, magazines, in front of them—anything to keep them entertained. Keep their confused minds as absorbed as possible—before they attempt to do it themselves. This will lower the risk of them getting hurt when they enter the moderate to late stages of this disease.

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