Sunday, 9 August 2015

7.30AM – 12.00PM
Lebuhraya Bukit Jalil, Bukit Jalil, 57000 Kuala Lumpur

Alzheimer’s Disease Foundation Malaysia (ADFM) jointly with Rotary Club Sri Petaling and University Malaya’s MeLor, and supported by Eisai Malaysia, is having a MEMORY WALK to commemorate the fourth global World Alzheimer’s Month in September this year under the Theme ‘REMEMBER ME”, to raise greater awareness of this rapidly growing disease and reduce the stigma that surrounds dementia.     

Based on UN statistical projections for Malaysia, the number of people with dementia will grow to over 261 thousand by 2030 and 590 thousand by the year 2050.  Current estimate of those affected is 123 thousand.

The Theme “REMEMBER ME” is dedicated to Caregivers and their loved ones living with dementia, and remembering those who have passed away. 

JOIN THE MEMORY WALK to raise public awareness of this crippling disease and reduce the stigma attached to dementia.  Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and Dementia can affect anyone of us or our loved ones.


Warming Up Exercise by Jumpstart Fitness First
Flag 0ff – 2km for AD Persons, and 5KM for Public (No worries!  If you can’t complete the 5km Fun Walk, your support and presence is more important J
Collect Food and Drink
Free Health Screening by UMMC Geriatric Team of Doctors & Nurses together with Nurses from MNA UMMC Branch 
Zumba Exercise
End (those who wish to leave early, they can do so)

Confirmation of Registration:  Email the RegistrationForm to for confirmation, on first come first-served basis. 

Registration Fee:  RM20 per participant.  AD Persons FREE. (First 500 participants will get T-Shirt, Cap, Goody Bag, Drink & Food).    

Payment:  Refers to Registration Form

Enquiry:  Contact Jenny / Michael at Tel:  03 7931 5850 / 016 608 2513 or Email:

Kindly help to circulate to all your family members, friends, business associates, senior community clubs and social network for support. 


Hurry, Sign Up Early !!
 See you at Bukit Jalil Recreational Park on 20 September soon !!!

Best wishes,
Memory Walk Organizing Team

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

SAT/12SEPT15 ADFM Public Carers Forum To Commemorate World Alzheimer's Month In September

Saturday, 12 September 2015
Time:  2.30pm – 5.00pm

ADFM, jointly with Eisai Malaysia and University Malaya’s MeLOR, is organizing a “CARERS’ FORUM” in conjunction with the global commemoration of World Alzheimer’s Month in September under the Theme “REMEMBER ME”. 

All caregivers and their families are cordially invited to this Free Carers’ Forum.  

The caregiver or family member of a person who has Alzheimer’s Disease faces many challenges and experiences enormous stress, both in adjusting to their new role while coping with the profound changes in a loved one. The Carers’ Forum aims to address the plight and issues surrounding the caregiver with particular emphasis on Person Centred Care in Dementia Cases.

Dr Donald Yeo, a Clinical Neuropsychologist from Singapore (see profile below), will be conducting the Forum. Dr Yeo has a special interest in the psychological aspects of ageing and dementia and is a well-known advocate of and authority on Person Centred Care (PCC) in dementia cases.

After Dr Yeo’s explanation of the concept and principles of PCC, invited caregivers will share their experiences as a basis for discussion regarding the application of PCC principles and how best to achieve PCC goals in specific cases. 

Our Medical Specialists in the Panel, Dr Lee Fatt Soon from HKL and Assoc Prof Dr Chin Ai Vyrn from UMMC will also address care-giving issues raised by the participants.

Profile of Dr Donald Yeo
DPsych(ClinNeuro) (Australia), BSc(Hons)(Psychology) (UK), Dip(Applied Psychology) (UK), MSc(Innovation) (Singapore)

Dr DONALD YEO qualified as a Clinical Neuropsychologist (Doctor of Psychology) with a special interest in aging and dementia. Through 18 years of professional practice, advanced training, clinical research and supervision, he has established deep expertise in cognitive evaluation of patients with brain disorders and providing psychological support for family caregivers. He has co-created innovative Arts and Health community programs to benefit elderly persons with early cognitive decline. He is currently in private practice, supervises Masters in Clinical Psychology interns from National University of Singapore and James Cook University Singapore, and was previously Principal Neuropsychologist at Singapore General Hospital, Department of Neurology.

Admission will be by compulsory registration on a first come first served basis due to limited places.

Confirmation of Registration, Email the RegistrationForm to or Fax to 03 7960 8482.  For clarification, contact  Jenny or Michael  at 03 7931 5850 or 016 608 2513.

From:  ADFM WAM Organizing Team 

SAT/12SEPT15 Public Awareness Seminar "Dementia In An Aging Society" Jointly By ADFM, Eisai Malaysia and MeLOR, University Malaya



Saturday, 12 September 2015
Time:  8.45am – 12.30pm
Venue:  Klinikal Auditorium, Faculty of Medicine
University Malaya, Jalan University, Petaling Jaya

ADFM, jointly with Eisai Malaysia and UM MeLOR, is organizing a FREE Public Demenia Awareness Seminar in conjunction with the global commemoration of World Alzheimer’s Month in September under the Theme "REMEMBER ME".

The Topics to be covered by our pool of Medical Specialists are:
Registration of Attendance
Welcome Address by ADFM Exco, Honorary Chairman, 
Datuk Dr Yim Khai Kee
Alzheimer’s Disease in the Setting of An Aging Society by
Dr Lee Fatt Soon from HKL
Alzheimer’s Disease : Causes and Pathway by
Dr Yau Weng Keong from HKL
Break for Refreshment
Alzheimer’s Disease : Risk Factors and Preventive Interventions by Dr Elizabeth Chong from HKL
Latest Development on Medication & Treatments by
Dr Chin Ai Vyrn of UMMC/UMSC
Q & As Session

The Public is cordially invited to this free Public Awareness Seminar,   Admission will be by compulsory registration on a first come first served basis. (Certificate of Attendance will be issued to healthcare professionals and allied healthcare workers upon request).

Confirmation of Registration, Email the Registration Form to or Fax to 03 7960 8482.

Further information, contact Jenny or Michael at 03 7931 5850 or 016 608 2513.

From:  ADFM WAM Organizing Team

Sunday, 21 June 2015

SAT/27JUNE15 ADFM Dementia Care Training Workshop - ESSENTIALS OF DEMENTIA CARE

ADFM National Caregivers Support Network will be conducting a  Dementia Care Training Workshop on ESSENTIALS OF DEMENTIA CARE with the objective to equip family caregivers, domestic carers and allied healthcare staff the essential knowledge and practical skills to understand and to effectively care for people affected by dementia. 


Day/Date:  SATURDAY, 27 JUNE 2015

Time:  8.30am to 5.30pm (Total Training Hours 7 Hours)

Venue:   ADFM PJ Day-Care Centre, Lorong 11/8E, Seksyen 11, 46200 Petaling Jaya.

Medium of Instruction:  English 

Group Size:  Limited to 25 participants.

Course Leader:  Ms Sharon A. H. Soon, RN, RM, RMN, Accredited Educator in Palliative Care Nursing, The Flinders University of South Australia, Nurse Consultant in Aged Care & Psychogeriatric Care (New Zealand).

Certificate of Attendance will be issued to participants who completed the one day training workshop. 

Learning Objective: The aim of this interactive video-aided training through experiential learning and role playing is to equip participants involved in the care of people living with dementia the essential knowledge and coping skills in understanding of persons with dementia, to deliver day-to-day care and activities of daily living.  

08.30am  Registration
09.00am  Introduction & Overview of Dementia
09.30am  Stages of Dementia
10.00am  Behavioural Problems

10.30am  TEA BREAK

11.00am  Managing Disturbed & Aggressive Behaviour
11.30am  Wondering & Care Management
12.00pm  Assisting with Mobility
12.30pm  Bathing/Grooming

 1.00pm   LUNCH BREAK

 1.45pm   Managing Meals & Care Management
 2.30pm   Incontinence & Care Management
 3.00pm   Communication Skills

 3.30pm   Self -Care

 4.00pm   TEA BREAK

 4.15pm   Activities & Practical Skills
 4.45pm   Q & As Session
 5.15pm   Summary, Closing & Photo session    

Course Fees:
To cover course materials, certificate of attendance, refreshments, lunch, and other administrative expenses:

1.  RM60 for family caregiver.
2.  RM80 per participant for other categories.

(1)  Email or fax completed Registration Form to  

(2)  Registration via email - provide Full Name/s, Mobile Contact, email address and indicate your profession. 

(1)  Payment by cash or cheque, please bank in direct to ADFM Bank Account with CIMB Bank at ADFM Account No.  800 2293177.  Email or Fax the Payment Receipt to: for confirmation. 

(2)  By cheque, cheque should be crossed and made payable to “ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE FOUNDATION".

More Information:  Email or contact 016 608 2513 (Jenny) / 03 7931 5850 (Michael Tan).

Kindly register early and be punctual.  Thanks and best wishes.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

SAT/23MAY15 Kota Kinabalu - Awareness Talk & Caregivers Sharing Session On "Brain Failure and Behaviour" By Dr Richard Ng, Consultant Physician & Geriatrician


Kindly be informed that The Sabah Alzheimer’s Disease Support Association (SADA) in Kota Kinabalu will be having an Awareness Talk and Caregivers Sharing Session on:


SPEAKER:  DR RICHARD NG, Consultant Physician & Geriatrician


TIME:   2.00pm – 4.00pm

VENUE:   Jesselton Medical Centre (JMC), 3rd floor, clinic Lounge, Jalan Metro 2, Metro Town, Off Jalan Lintas, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

More information, kindly contact Tel: 019 881 1030 (Ken Chau) or email

Sunday, 10 May 2015


Kindly be advised that ADFM National Caregivers Support Network will be having a Talk on:


SPEAKER:    Prof Dato Dr Raymond Azman Ali, Senior Consultant Neurologist, Dean, Medical Faculty UKM and Director, UKM Medical Centre

TIME/DATE:   2.30pm, Saturday, 23 May 2015

In his presentation, Prof Dato Dr Raymond Azman Ali will cover the causes of blackouts on the different types of seizures and the treatments.

What Is Epilepsy?
Epilepsy is a condition that affects the brain and causes repeated seizures, which were sometimes previously referred to as "fits".

Electrical activity is happening in our brain all the time. A seizure happens when there is a sudden burst of intense electrical activity in the brain. This is often referred to as epileptic activity. The epileptic activity causes a temporary disruption to the way the brain normally works, so the brain’s messages become mixed up. The brain is responsible for all the functions of your body. What happens to you during a seizure will depend on where in your brain the epileptic activity begins, and how widely and quickly it spreads.

There are many different types of seizure, and each person will experience epilepsy in a way that is unique to them.


(1)  The duly filled RegistrationForm to be submitted to or Fax to 7960 8482.
(2)   If email, please provide complete details of Name/s, Mobile contact, email address, also indicate whether a caregiver or healthcare staff or seniors.  We will not confirm your registration if details are not complete.

Any enquiries, email or contact Helpline at 03 7931 5850 / 016 608 2513.

Thank you,
ADFM National Caregivers Support Network

10 May 2015

Sunday, 19 April 2015


With age often comes an increase in the number and frequency of memory slips - forgetting where you put your keys, blanking on the name of an acquaintance, etc. These experiences, in turn, fuel fears that one has Alzheimer's or another form of dementia, leading to one crucial question: What's the difference between dementia and normal aging?

It's a challenging query to answer because what is considered "normal" aging for one person is not the same as what is normal for another. 

For example, studies have shown that a person's educational background can provide some protection against the onset of cognitive issues later on in life by enhancing their cognitive reserve. Typically, the more years of formal schooling an individual has, the more likely they are to be able to retain their intellectual capacity as they age. However, as is often the case when dealing with dementia, this is not a hard and fast rule. People with multiple graduate degrees can still get Alzheimer's, while those who didn't make it past high school may never encounter cognitive issues.

Occupying the middle ground between normal aging and dementia lies a disorder known as Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI).

Here are 10 things to know about MCI:

·         One-in-five older adults may have MCI: Increasing age is probably the most well-known and widely-accepted risk factor for MCI. Studies have indicated that anywhere from five to 20 percent of people over 65 struggle with MCI.

·         The symptoms: Having trouble recalling the names of recent acquaintances, frequently misplacing important objects and being unable to follow the flow of normal conversation are all red flags that could indicate MCI. But the primary feature that distinguishes MCI from full-blown dementia is how much the person's cognitive issues are affecting their day-to-day lives. The more extreme the impact, the more likely it is that that individual has MCI.

·         MCI changes the brain: While it's not always the case, the brains of people with MCI often undergo certain visible physical changes. MRI scans of cognitively impaired individual's brains have shown a large accumulation of plaques, impaired glucose processing (neurons use glucose as an important source of fuel), larger ventricles and a smaller hippocampus. These changes have also been associated with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia.

·         Getting an early diagnosis can help: Going to the doctor at the first sign of cognitive issues that affect everyday life is important because getting a formal diagnosis can help a person with MCI or dementia to gain access to memory care clinics and other important resources. Knowing what the future might hold also enables an older adults and their family to make important plans for the future. (Learn more about Planning Ahead for Elder Care).

·         How MCI is diagnosed: Finding the precise cause of cognitive impairment is tricky. Doctors will typically take a full medical and family history first, followed by a neurological exam, cognitive functioning evaluation(s), blood tests and brain scan(s).

·         There's more than one type: There are two distinct sub-types of MCI—amnestic and non-amnestic. The majority of individuals (about two-thirds) with MCI have the amnestic variant, the main symptom of which is memory loss. Non-amnestic MCI involves other cognitive concerns such as impaired judgement, and having problems with organization and planning.

·         There is no treatment: The FDA has yet to approve any treatments for MCI. Drugs used to treat Alzheimer's disease typically are not prescribed to people with MCI as the benefit of such interventions has yet to be proven in clinical trials.

·         MCI may increase Alzheimer's risk: MCI may increase an individual's risk of developing Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia by as much as three to five times, according to recent research.Though it's not yet possible for doctors to determine whether a particular person's MCI will eventually morph into dementia.

·         Not everyone with MCI will develop dementia: Some individuals who have MCI stay stable and never develop dementia.

·         Some types of MCI can be reversed: Not all cases of MCI signal the onset of a degenerative neurological condition. Cardiovascular disease, infections, even certain medications can also cause MCI. In these instances, cognitive symptoms may be reversible with better medication management or certain lifestyle changes - another reason why experts suggest seeing a doctor at the first sign of cognitive trouble.

(Source:  Aging, 15 April 2015)

Wednesday, 1 April 2015


Treatment for managing dementia depends on its type and severity, but drug therapy often plays a role. Drugs can't cure dementia, but psychotropic medications, which include antipsychotics, antidepressants and anticonvulsants, are used with extreme caution in certain cases to help improve behavioural symptoms such as aggression, agitation, lack of inhibition and depression -- symptoms that caregivers tend to feel are more stressful or difficult to handle than the trademark memory loss associated with dementia.

For many people with dementia, the potential risks of psychotropics outweigh their potential benefits. All antipsychotics, including haloperidol (Haldol), olanzapine (Zyprexa), quetiapine (Seroquel) and risperidone (Risperdal), significantly increase the risk of death, perhaps because they also increase the risk of stroke, heart attack and falls.

The DICE approach. In exploring ways to improve symptoms without depending on potent psychotropic drugs, experts from the University of Michigan and Johns Hopkins Medicine developed DICE, a strategy designed to minimize problems by changing a patient's behaviour. The acronym DICE stands for describe, investigate, create and evaluate. The DICE approach is a collaboration among a caregiver, a clinician and, if feasible, the individual with dementia. DICE consists of the following four steps:

Describe: The caregiver describes to the clinician specific behavioural problems the patient is exhibiting and the circumstances and environment under which they occur. The person with dementia describes the situation if he or she has the ability to do so. Both the caregiver and patient convey the degree of distress this behaviour causes them.

Investigate: The clinician examines, excludes and identifies possible underlying medical and mental health causes for the patient's actions as well as drugs the patient may be taking that contribute to the behaviour. The clinician reviews the caregiver's handling of the behaviour and advises the caregiver on issues such as appropriate reaction and expectations. Finally, the clinician will examine the environment for possible improvements, such as reducing clutter or noise and improving lighting.

Create: The clinician and the caregiver create a plan to prevent or respond to either a specific action or general behaviour to enhance the environment and improve caregiver skills and well-being.

Evaluate: The clinician evaluates and assesses the patient's and caregiver's compliance with the suggested plan and makes any needed changes if the desired effects aren't achieved.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recommend the DICE approach in an effort to reduce the need for psychotropic drugs. The authors caution that doctors should prescribe psychotropics only after they've made other attempts to change behaviour - unless patients have severe depression, psychosis or aggression that poses a risk to themselves or those around them. The study outlining the DICE approach appeared in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

(Source:  Scientific American Health After 50, 30 March 2015)

Sunday, 22 March 2015


Normal aging leads to changes in the brain, especially in areas involved in learning and memory.

Over time, changes in the brain can make it more difficult for an older person to learn new tasks or to retrieve information from memory, such as someone's name.

With Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia, the damage is more severe and ultimately affects larger regions of the brain.

The human brain contains an estimated 100 billion nerve cells (neurons). Chemical and electrical activity allows these neurons to perform their tasks and to communicate with one another. This elaborate communication system controls vital body functions and enables us to think, see, move, talk, remember, and experience emotions.

There are four different memory systems of the brain -- episodic, semantic, procedural, and working.

Memory Systems

Episodic Memory
The temporal lobe, which contains the hippocampus, and the prefrontal cortex are important to episodic memory, which enables us to learn new information and remember recent events. The hippocampus is one of the first brain structures damaged in Alzheimer's disease and accounts for one hallmark of early Alzheimer's: difficulty remembering recent events, without any trouble remembering events from long ago.

Semantic Memory
Semantic memory governs general knowledge and facts, including the ability to recognize, name, and categorize objects. This system also involves the temporal lobes and, researchers suspect, multiple areas within the cortex. People with Alzheimer's disease may be unable to name a common object or to list objects in a category, such as farm animals or types of birds.

Procedural Memory
The cerebellum is one of the structures involved in procedural memory. Procedural memory is what enables people to learn skills that will then become automatic (unconscious), such as typing or skiing. This memory system typically is not damaged in Alzheimer's disease or is one of the last cognitive domains to deteriorate.

Working Memory
Working memory involves primarily the prefrontal cortex. This memory system governs attention, concentration, and the short-term retention of needed information, such as a street address or phone number. Problems with working memory can impair a person's ability to pay attention or to accomplish multi-step tasks. Numerous cognitive disorders, such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's disease as well as dementia with Lewy bodies, can affect working memory.

In a nutshell, persons living with Alzheimer's or dementia cannot remember to remember. As a result, they can no longer either recall or use new memories in the future.

Nevertheless, persons living with dementia continue to surprise us with their stories and memories of the past.

This should be the focus of our compassionate caregiver efforts.

(Sources of information: John Hopkins +Alzheimer's Reading Room)

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Dear Caregivers, 

A very good article and full of wisdom which we all should take a read, 5 Qualities of Caregiving Excellence, from Angil Tarach-Ritchey (RN GCM) who has over 30 years of experience and is a nationally known expert in senior care and advocacy (Source:  Alzheimer’s Reading Room).

Relationships can be tested to the limit when there is a caregiver and care recipient within a family relationship.

In a paid caregiving position there are those who have something special within them and those who are just making an income. I think about and meet all types of caregivers on a daily basis.

Not everyone is suited to provide care in a family situation or as a paid position. So what are the characteristics that an excellent caregiver has? I believe there are 5 core qualities an excellent caregiver possesses.


My belief is empathy is the #1 core characteristic of an excellent caregiver. I often question if this is inherent within us or this is something which can be learned?

I tend to believe it’s a lot of inherent and a big mix of environment. I also believe there are degrees of empathy. Some can empathize more than others. If you can totally put yourself in the place of who you are caring for, you will do nothing but provide excellent care.

The question is always how would I want to be treated and taken care of under these circumstances? If that is the core basis for how you provide care you will provide caring, compassionate, and dignified care with a great attitude.


Someone who is in need of care has lost some degree of independence. They have to be able to depend on the person or people providing assistance to them.

Imagine being unable to obtain your own meal, bathe yourself, get dressed, or go to the bathroom independently. Imagine the feelings involved when you lose that independence and have to ask for help. Imagine having no one to count on when you need them.

It is difficult enough for a person to lose independence without having the added burden of finding someone reliable to help them. When you provide care, it is crucial that you are dependable. So many vulnerable seniors’ lives depend on the assistance and care of another to live a safe and happy life.


Besides children, most care recipients are elderly. As we age our bodies no longer move the way they used to. Add an injury, or physical illness and movement is more difficult, slower and may be painful.

Parts of our bodies may not work at all, such as after a stroke, or with a disease such as advanced Parkinsons, or arthritis. With an illness of the brain, such as Alzheimer’s there is memory loss, and loss of the ability to process information.

These are some of the examples that would cause someone to move slowly, respond slowly or repeat conversations. It takes a patient person to provide care when we can move and process quickly, but the person we are assisting cannot.

I often see caregivers contribute to loss of independence because of impatience. We are in a hurried society and typically spend our lives in a fast pace. It can be difficult to slow down to the pace of the person we are caring for, but it is crucial in excellent caregiving.

A good rule is to allow a person to do as much as they can for themselves, and to avoid doing things for a person they can do for themselves. Doing too much contributes to the loss of physical abilities and increased dependence. It can also damage the dignity of a person and this is an important part of their mental health and quality of life.

Give the care recipient ample time to comfortably be assisted with their activities of daily living (ADL’s), and to complete as many tasks as possible on their own. If you aren’t patient, you will end up providing more care, not less. Use the time to slow down your hurried life and enjoy the process of caregiving.

Persons with memory loss will repeat questions, and comments. This can be enough to test anyone’s patience when you’ve heard the same question 30 times that day.

Here again, empathy is needed. EVERY single time a person with dementia asks a question, they truly believe it is the very first time they have asked it. You MUST respond as if it’s the first time you heard the question asked.

I cringe when I hear a caregiver tell a care recipient with dementia, “I just told you”, or “don’t you remember?” This vulnerable person affected by this horrible disease truly doesn’t remember you just told them, and they honestly cannot remember. 

These responses typically come with a frustrated tone of voice, and sometimes anger. Again, empathy counts! Imagine asking someone a question for the very first time, and they respond in an angry voice and scowl, and you know you never asked them before. Rather than getting to this point of frustration become a pro at redirection!
Sometimes redirection can take a while to start working because dementia can cause someone to get fixated on something, but the better you get at it, the less your patience will be tested. Direct the care recipient towards something they enjoy, or change the conversation to a joyful time earlier in their life. Photo albums are always helpful in redirection.

If the care recipient is angry, and uncooperative, give them space, and a bit of time. If they are not in danger of hurting themselves or others remove yourself from the situation. Give everyone time to breathe and calm down. Wait 15 or 20 minutes and reproach in a calm and loving manner. If the source of the frustration is a task that can be put off -- put it off. If it’s something that needs to take place as soon as possible, like changing an incontinence brief, try a different approach.


As I mentioned above, caregiving can be very difficult. Whether you are paid or unpaid there will be days and times when you feel like you are at your limit.

You may be having a bad day yourself, the care recipient may be having a bad day, or you are just burned out. Times like these call for strength.

You must be strong enough to recognize when you are in need of time off, when you need to adjust care, when you need to dig deep within yourself for patience.

Caregiver’s seem to be in a frequent battle with the outside world regarding advocacy and fighting for services, or through red tape of insurance, or healthcare bureaucracy. It takes a lot of patience and strength to advocate for your care recipient.

Recognize what your weaknesses are and when to get additional assistance. If you get frustrated and exhausted it will not only affect you, but it contributes to the person you’re caring for feeling like a burden, and everyone loses.

Take time off, get additional assistance, and again put yourself in a place of empathy. Caregiving is not for sissy’s!

5. Flexiblity

Caregivers have to be some of the most flexible people I know. Things can change in an instant when you are caring for someone. 

Family members can be called home from work, need to get their loved one to the doctor, or hospital. The health situation can fluctuate, and personality and behaviour can change on the drop of a dime.

Paid caregivers can lose a client to a hospital admission, have to stay on their shift longer because of a health crisis, or get a new patient at the last minute. There are constant schedule changes, and client changes. You must be open to change because whether you like change or not, it will happen.

People who value strict schedules and sticking to a routine have a lot of difficulty in the caregiving role. I have spent my career knowing that as soon as I have my day planned out something is sure to change and I will have to tend to whatever has become the priority. Caregiving is best for people who can adapt quickly, and accept change easily.

There are other qualities and characteristics I could talk about, but I believe those stem from the core 5. Being kind, and gentle stems from empathy and patience. Obtaining the best healthcare possible is a result of empathy and strength. Keeping the care recipient safe comes from empathy, dependability and strength. Every situation and every caregiving moment spent will require empathy.

Whether you are providing care now or will be in the future, you have to ask yourself if you are able to put yourself in the shoes of the person, or people you care for.

This requires you to be judgment free of their situation, and have the ability to understand what it must feel like in their place.

If the person has advanced Alzheimer’s, take yourself to the place it would be like when they were healthy, and then started to realize they couldn’t remember things, or lost their way. Understand how it felt to receive the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, knowing there is no cure and your abilities will most likely diminish. Think about what it would be like to have a stranger bathe or dress you.

If you can do those things, you will always provide care that is of the best quality possible. If you cannot, I recommend alternative care for a family member or another choice of career.

Care recipients deserve no less than the best we have to offer.