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Practical Advice for the Alzheimer’s Caregiving Journey

Join us for a free in-person educational seminar for family caregivers.

Experts in the field of geriatric medicine and memory care will provide an open discussion and practical advice for caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s or related dementias. Resources will be provided for those seeking additional support.

Alvin Chang, MD  Geriatrician
Todd Shetter – Chief Operating Officer, ActivCare Living

To learn more, call 888-MEM-LOSS (888-636-5677) or click here for a flyer.

Thursday, September 16, 2021
8:30 am – Continental Breakfast
9 am to 11 am – Presentation

Laguna Hills Community Center – Heritage Room
25555 Alicia Pkwy
Laguna Hills, CA 92653

There is no cost to attend, but reservations are required. Register now.

Normal is Gone…Now What?
Alzheimer’s Care and Resources During COVID

Thursday, November 12, 2020 |10 am to 11:30 am PST

With more than 30 years of experience specifically focused on enhancing life for those with memory loss, ActivCare helped pioneer residential memory care in California and we want to share our wealth of knowledge and with you. 

 Join us for a free online seminar to learn how to empower yourself during these unprecedent times. During COVID, Alzheimer’s has not gone away. Instead, staying at home has increased the impact on family caregivers. 

This free online seminar will be held using Zoom, participation is free and easy. When you join, you will have the opportunity to discover resources and techniques to help guide the caregiving journey.

There is no cost to attend, but advanced reservations are required. 

For support and information, call 888-MEM-LOSS (888-636-5677), click here for a flyer or email info@activcareliving.com

Find resources or an ActivCare community near you visit activcareliving.com

Advice from Teepa Snow:
“Building and sustaining relationships during social distancing is critical.”

ActivCare Living and Alzheimer’s San Diego were privileged to kick off the month of May with an online event featuring renowned dementia educator, Teepa Snow.

During this special event, Teepa covered an array of topics, including:

  • How to approach the topic of wearing masks for personal protection.
  • Ways to make video calls more meaningful.
  • How to help your loved one to get moving and the benefits of movement.

Overcoming Obstacles to Personal Protection Masks
Teepa suggested caregivers approach the idea of masks in a more conversational manner. Speak with your loved one about how they may feel when they see a mask on a person, or how they may feel about wearing one themselves. Teepa noted that using empathy to connect with your loved one may help comfort them. For example, acknowledging the different practice, “‘Yeah, it does look funny, doesn’t it?” Because it can be difficult to understand someone talking through a face mask, offer alternative solutions, such as writing a note instead.
When it comes time to put the masks on, Teepa suggests to slowly introduce the idea – alternating taking it on and off to demonstrate how you might look and sound very different while wearing it. While it might be difficult to get your loved one to ultimately wear the mask, this can at least ease their anxiety when seeing you or others wearing them in public places.

Taking Advantage of a Narrowed Field of Vision
With these tips, Teepa was able to make virtual visits via video chats interesting, engaging and fun!

  1. Try sorting familiar objects via video.
  2. Use familiar photos to trigger conversations.
  3. Take them on a tour of your environment. Engage them by staging photos (or use existing items in your surroundings) to initiate a scavenger hunt of landmarks or perhaps a color themed hunt.

Instead of quizzing your loved one about recent events, ask about a favored memory and allow them to share their story with you. “Tell me about the time when…” Most importantly, the best way to have a successful conversation with your loved one is to be present.

Objects in Motion will Stay in Motion
Finding ways to get to your loved one moving can help ward off restlessness, wandering and sundowning behaviors. According to Teepa, “The hippocampus is designed to learn and remember to go from here to there and then come back.” She said, “When someone with dementia says they’re not okay in one space, that means they feel at risk or unsafe.” As a caregiver, we need to acknowledge their feelings and do our best to reassure them.
One strategy offered was to take your loved one by the had and lead them through doorways. Treating each room as a new place to go can help your loved one’s mind to calm itself while keeping them in a safe environment. (Tip: This can also be done while on a video call to help your loved one’s mind explore new locations.)
Another way to get moving is with music, rhythm or instruments. Making sure they can see your movements, you can tap your foot or clap your hands – encouraging your loved one to join in. The same can be done with drumming or dancing, based on your loved one’s mobility. Start slowly, at their height, and encourage them to follow you as you stand. Turn this exercise into a dance to promote mobility.

For more great pointers, you can watch Teepa’s entire presentation here: Talk with Teepa

You can access Teepa’s PowerPoint slides here: Slide Presentation

Should you have questions or need additional information, please contact an ActivCare community near you or call 888-636-5677 for a directory.

Dementia Dialogues: Practical Advice from Alzheimer’s Care Experts

Memory loss resulting from Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias has a profound impact on the family. Join us and learn how to empower and prepare yourself and your loved one. Experts in the field of geriatric medicine and memory care will provide an open discussion on warning signs, the dementia diagnosis, progression, and caregiving.

Todd Shetter – ActivCare Living COO

Alvin Chang, MDGeriatrician
Elva Ledesma, LVN – ActivCare Executive Director

To learn more, call 888-MEM-LOSS (888-636-5677).

Thursday, February 20, 2020
8:30 am to 11 am
Continental Breakfast at 8:30 am, presentations at 9 am

Coyote Hills Golf Course
1440 E. Bastanchury Rd
Fullerton, CA 92835

There is no cost to attend, but reservations are required. Make your reservation using this link.

The recent Town Hall Forum entitled, “After the Alzheimer’s Diagnosis: Practical Advice for Family Caregivers”  provided some useful information and resources.
To follow up on some of the points made by our speakers and to share their presentations, we wanted to provide a few helpful links.

Dr. Tehrani provided an insightful review of the various common forms of dementia, including their causes and symptoms. He urged caregivers to work with a geriatric specialist and to focus on the care of your loved one; not just the treatment of their symptoms.
Below are links to his presentation as well as a resource to find out more:

Dementia from a practical standpoint – Michael Tehrani, MD

Understanding the causes and symptoms of the various forms of dementia will help determine the best course of care for your loved one. The Alzheimer’s Association has provided a great resource to help you understand What is Dementia?

Patty Mouton from Alzheimer’s Orange County stated that, as a caregiver, you are not alone and advised of the many resources available to families. It’s important to practice self-care and learn how to ask for and accept help during your caregiving journey.
Patty provided many great tips on how to care for the caregiver in her presentation and urged our attendees to find the support group right for them.

At the end of the seminar, Todd Shetter suggested a homework assignment for family caregivers. To be better prepared, he recommended touring 3 skilled nursing and 3 memory care communities near you. Be an informed consumer. Do not wait until your loved one needs the care immediately and you’re forced to settle with an uninformed choice. 
To help out, you may want to review this checklist for evaluating Skilled Nursing Homes
When considering a Memory Care Community, you want to review the following:

  • Community Appearance
  • Activity Schedule/Involvement
  • Medical Team Availability (Is a nurse on-site 24/7?)
  • Staff Friendliness
  • Family Support Programs

Here is a comparison guide to help with your search.

Other Resources

You can access previous Town Hall Forum presentations here: Previous Town Hall Forum Presentations

You can access other helpful resources here: Tips & Resources Should you have questions or need additional information, please contact an ActivCare community near you or call 888-636-5677 for a directory. 

After the Alzheimer’s Diagnosis: Practical Advice for Family Caregivers

This seminar will provide practical information to help in your caregiving journey. Garner tips for establishing a baseline of care needs, ideas to plan successful activities supporting your loved one, insight into gaining family support and how to prepare for future changes.


Michael S. Tehrani, MDBoard-Certified Internist Specializing in Geriatrics

Patty Barnett MoutonAlzheimer’s Orange County

Thursday, October 24, 2019

8:30 am to 11 am

Continental Breakfast at 8:30 am, presentations begin at 9 am

The Clubhouse at Anaheim Hills Golf Course

6501 E. Nohl Ranch Road

Anaheim Hills, CA 92807

The Team Approach to Alzheimer’s Care

With more than 20 years of experience helping families, Dr. Vourlitis referenced a variety of topics ranging from the stages of progression to preparing for the physician visit as well as warning signs to look out for when determining if outside help is needed. Below are links to the materials discussed as well as resources to find out more:
Team Up with Your Physician to Face Alzheimer’s – Melissa Vourlitis, DO

Amy Abrams from Alzheimer’s San Diego stated that, as a caregiver, you are not alone and advised of the many resources available to families. It’s important to learn how to ask for and accept help in your caregiving journey. 
Amy provided many great links to resources in her presentation and urged our attendees to find the support group right for them.

The Team Approach to Alzheimer’s Care

At this free seminar, Alzheimer’s care experts will provide practical advice to family caregivers—giving insight to help build a successful support team and guide the caregiving journey. Join us to discover resources to help you in developing a cohesive team for your loved one’s plan of care.


Melissa Vourlitis, DOFamily Medicine Physician

Amy AbramsAlzheimer’s San Diego

To learn more, call 888-MEM-LOSS (888-636-5677) or click here for a flyer.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

8:30 am to 11 am

Continental Breakfast at 8:30 am, presentations at 9 am

Carmel Mountain Ranch Estate

14050 Carmel Ridge Rd,

San Diego, CA 92128

Town Hall Forum

With more than 20 years of experience helping families, Dr. Chang shared his unique perspective and provided some insightful information. He provided an overview of the stages of dementia as well as treatment options.

The Doctor’s Perspective – Alvin Chang, MD

Our second speaker Patty Barnett Mouton, from Alzheimer’s Orange County, emphasized the HELP model with steps to take following the dementia diagnosis. Her presentation can be viewed in the link below.

Advanced Care Planning – Patty Barnett Mouton

Both of our speakers noted that maintaining overall health and early detection are key care steps.

The most recent Town Hall Forum, “Dementia Dialogues: A Panel Discussion with Specialized Geriatric Physicians,” provided useful information and resources for family caregivers.

Our panelists and moderator covered a multitude of topics. Here are a few resources that were discussed.

Dr. Teja Singh, Board-Certified Geriatrician, referenced the Beers Criteria List; a list of medications that are potentially inappropriate for older adults. Should your loved one’s medication appear on this list, you may want to discuss with their primary physician.

Also, discussed were the stages of Alzheimer’s. A helpful list from Alzheimer’s San Diego can be found here:  Signs and Stages of Alzheimer’s disease to better understand the stages.

Families with a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia find the topic of driving a challenging one to tackle. The DMV provides useful guides for your reference:

DMV Senior Driving Page

DMV Senior Guide for Safe Driving

In addition, the Auto Club (AAA) has a website dedicated to safe senior driving: AAA Senior Driving Safety

If you live in San Diego County, it is highly recommended to register your loved one in the Take Me Home program. It’s easy to do and could save a life.

To learn about the next Town Hall Forum, please sign up for emails here.

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