Parents Aging   Your Own Aging

Americans 85 years and older are the fastest growing segment of our population. Never in the history of the world have so many people lived so long.

Are you one of the millions of people caring for an aging parent, spouse or grandparent? Aging Deliberately can guide you through the complex problems and challenges of ensuring appropriate and safe care for your loved ones. We can also help you plan for your own future needs as you grow older.

Seventy percent of us are likely to need some kind of assistance before we died. Yet most of us have no idea of the services that are available, what’s needed, their costs, their quality, how they work together (or not) — or how to make wise choices.

Liz Taylor of Aging Deliberately has 35+ years experience providing expert consultations to families caring for their loved ones. She also assists adults in their mid years to prepare for their own aging while they’re healthy — and have the luxury of time to make thoughtful choices.

Most of us age accidentally, without planning or forethought. At Aging Deliberately, we help people prepare to age successfully — on purpose — because aging well is one of the most important life goals there is.

Join us to learn how to care for others and how to plan for your own future.

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Shutterfly and Alzheimers

Shutterfly and the Alzheimer’s Association:

Building Meaningful Photobooks for Those Facing Alzheimer’s

Lara Hoyem and Sam Fazio, Ph.D.

ProjectforAlzheimers-AgingDeliberatelyToday, more than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, the only disease in the top 10 causes of death that cannot be prevented, slowed or cured. Alzheimer’s is a family disease, as it not only impacts those living with the disease, but their caregivers as well – of which there are more than 15 million in the United States.

Individuals with Alzheimer’s may retain their long-term memories, especially during the earlier stages of the disease.

Research shows the use of reminiscence therapy – the discussion of past activities or experiences, usually accompanied by tangible and visual aids such as photos – reduces feelings of isolation and withdrawal, while simultaneously increasing feelings of comfort and connection. Studies also find that caregivers who participate in reminiscence both exhibit and report lower strain.

This past summer, Shutterfly, aided by the Alzheimer’s Association, drew on its strong heritage in helping families share life’s joy to launch a new resource page, offering 10 tips for putting together meaningful photobooks for individuals with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers. These tips are meant to serve as a practical guide for engaging those with Alzheimer’s disease and using photos as prompts for conversation.

10 Tips for Meaningful Photo Albums

  1. Place photos in chronological order. Photo books can be great tools for showing someone’s life history or story. Start your photo book at the beginning of the person’s life and lead up to the present day. Organize the book around key moments and concentrate on happy occasions to assist with engagement. Also, keep the design simple, with one or two pictures per page, so the photos are easy to focus on.
  2. Show relationships. to help spark recognition of family members dedicate a section to each person. Choose photos that include the person with the family member from different life stages and place them in chronological order.
  3. Select meaningful moments. Be sure to include photos that reflect the person’s meaningful life moments and depict his/her favorite hobbies of activities, such as weddings, graduations and vacations.
  4. Make it an activity. Work with the individual as appropriate to create the book, and share memories and conversations as you put it together.
  5. Engage in conversation. Ask open-ended questions about the people or events in the photo. How were you feeling in that picture? Tell me about your brother. What are some of your favorite childhood stories? Tell me more about this picture. The answers are less important than the conversation and engagement.
  6. Share your own memories. As part of the conversation, share your memories and feelings when looking at the pictures. Answer some of the same questions you’re asking the person with Alzheimer’s.
  7. Connect, don’t correct. This is more about making a connection and sharing memories. Focus on connection with the person, not correcting them.
  8. Revision frequently. Take the time to frequently revisit memories using the photos. Do what works best for the individual. It may be daily or weekly, depending on the person.
  9. Mix it up. Don’t discuss the same set of photos week after week. To help keep it fresh and interesting, discuss various parts of the book with different people and events on a regular basis.
  10. Move at a comfortable pace. Follow cues from the individual to gauge their interest level and determine how much time to spend per photo. Spend more time on the ones that spark interest or conversation and move on if they do not.
To learn more about this partnership, please visit:Shutterfly

Lara Hoyem – Director of Photo Books, Shutterfly.
Lara joined Shutterfly in 2004 and took on a series of marketing and general management roles before becoming the director and general manager of photo books in 2009. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in human biology from Stanford.
Sam Fazio, PH.D. – Director of Special Projects, Alzheimer’s Association.  Dr. Fazio has worked for the Alzheimer’s Association since 1994 in a variety of areas, including Education and Training and Program Services. He currently works in Constituent Services where he oversees quality care standards and social/behavioral research initiatives. Dr. Fazio received his doctorate in developmental psychology from Loyola University Chicago. He has worked in the field of aging since 1987.