Allyson Schrier, co-founder of Zinnia TV, talks about what happens exactly to the cognitive decline that comes with dementia and Alzheimer’s. These diseases and others like them have four things in common. They all impact two parts of the brain, causing a loss of brain tissue. They are all chronic, progressive and fatal. When they impact two parts of the brain, the skills associated with those two parts are lost. Alzheimer’s affects the left temporal lobe, where language is stored, and the hippocampus, which is responsible for memory and wayfinding. That’s why those with Alzheimer’s eventually have trouble speaking, finding their way around, and remembering.
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Call eight hundred and eight eight four hundred sash today and welcome back everyone, to answer for althers radio and we are here with Alison s rider, who is an Alzheimer’s and dementia expert and the CEO and founder of Zenia TV, and we’re going to learn a lot about Zenia TV this hour, but we’re first doing a little bit of background and in our previous segment alison shared a little bit about her story and how it came to be and how she really learned about communicating with those that have Alzheimer’s into and shot and Allison, I’m so glad you’re coming back, because a lot of us don’t necessarily really understand fully of what happens to the cognitive decline as someone is diagnosed with all cimership dimension. Sure. So just a really quick base, just primmers, make sure we’re all on the same page. So there are over a hundred diseases that qualify as a dementia, but the ones that we hear about the most are Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, Louie Body Dementia and frontotemporal dementia. And what all of these have in common? There are four things they all have in common. One is that they impact at least two parts of the brain, and what I say impact, I mean that those parts of the brain are actually starting to die, so they are losing brain tissue. The brain of a person who has died from dementia can be up to a third smaller than a brain of somebody who dies of some other causes. Number two is that these diseases are all chronic. You have it every day, so your symptoms may vary day to day. Number three is that they are all progressive, though we do know that there are ways to slow down progression, but that’s a whole other story that I can talk about every new things every day. Absolutely. And then number four, of course, is that all of these diseases are fatal. So what’s happening is if these diseases impact two parts of the brain, then the skills that are associated with those two parts of the brain stop operating as well. So, for instance, with Alzheimer’s disease, the two parts of the brain that are definitely going to be impacted and it could fur and in fact, as the disease progresses, it will be more. But the parts of the brain that are impacted are the left temporal lobe. That has to do with language, and so people will start losing skills. They know what words they want to say, but they can’t make those words come out, and so people will start flooring words, sounding almost like they’re speaking kind of a gibberish. And then the other part of the brain, the hippocampus, is responsible for memory and way finding. So People Alzheimer’s disease are having difficulty finding their way places and they’re having difficulty with short term memory and the wander I’m assuming that’s part of it. That is part of the wandering is because I don’t know where I am, I don’t know where I’m going on law because my wayfinding is is broken. Would also happens with and and so with these other diseases. They impact different parts of the brain. So I mentioned that my husband didn’t have memory issues even though he had dementia, because he had frontotemporal dementia, which impacts the frontal lobe and also the language center, not the memory portion of the brain. So he he never he always knew who you were. He always knew who I was. He would be able to drive in a car with me and even though he could no longer speak, he could use his hands to point to the direction that we should go and he was always right. And even when he was very close to death, people who he hadn’t seen years showed up and he knew who they were. That’s amazing. It is that you think that’s a lot of what my mom had vascular and she always knew who people were, but she had a hard time with connecting like if, like what date is it norma or or what? On a scale from one to ten, what’s to pay? Yeah, or how old are you? She’d never knew her age. So that’s those things. But she always knew me, she always knew everybody, so that’s I’m sure that was part of her brain and I’m sure that’s proud of vascular. Is it not true? I mean that right back. Yeah, so it can be. Yes. So one of the things that we who are supporting a person with dementia really need to recognize is that not that somebody’s being willful, it’s not that they’re being challenging. Asking questions like I already told you were the keys are. Don’t you remember? Just makes it really hard for somebody with dementia and makes them feel like they are less than and makes them feel like they are not respected any longer because, no, they don’t remember, because the part of the brain that should be storing that data is no longer able to store that data. So another thing that happens with most dementias is that people lose procedural memory. So that means they lose the ability to follow a sequence of depths. Right. So we have to speak in we break things into shorter series of instruction asking maybe just one thing and set at a time. Something like go up STAIR, can brush your teeth can be very challenging for somebody who cannot follow the depths of finds the bathroom, since the toothpaste, take the cap off the toothpaste, put it on the brush into a little tiny steps. Another thing that happens with most dementias is that people so your processing speed gets really hammered, losing prop processing speed declining as part of normal aging. So but would take somebody who is twenty years old as seconds to process will take me at my age, about one point seven seconds. Okay, just for instance, for somebody who is living with dementia it can take up to twenty seconds to answer a very simple question. Wow, we think about this in very simplistic terms. Your brain wants to answer the question and it’s trying to get to that place to find the answer, but it keeps hitting bridges that are out because there is brain tissue that is no longer there. But boy is going to try to find it, work around and by the time it eventually figures it out and respond. You can be it can take up to twenty seconds. And you know, what you’re saying is so valid. And I remember taking my mother like out two restaurants yes and she I look at the menu and she would see what she wants right because she would read the round you, but then when it came time to order, it’s like she couldn’t get the word out of what she was reading and I would see servers get impatient and Oh yeah, there’s that, there’s that connection. And yet, you know, it was hard on, you know, family, a family member like me, and I’m sure that those listeners that are that are listening and watching this podcast, is the fact that you know you’re in a situation right now where you’re trying to help your loved one, you’re seeing an irritation from a server and you really don’t know if you should step in and correct it, if you should make the order for on their behalf. My mom got offended. If I do that, she’s like, let me talk, let me answer, you know, talk or answer the question. And so I really came to the point where I would say to the the server just, you know, be patient, you know, just or you know, I’d be not I mean, how would you say is the best way to handle something like that? So so two things are going on there. One is it can be really overwhelming for a person with living with dementia to look at a menu and figure out what they want. So one of the things that we do when we’re working with a person supporting a person with dementia and we avoid open ended questions like what would you like for lunch, because, oh my God, the role of possibilities is so big. That’s true. Yeah, what we do is we offer choices. Hey, mom, we don’t even need to look at the menus here. I know what’s good. Do you want to hand sandwich or the Turkey Sandwich? Perfect, break it down into simple little push and then, working with the server, we can say something like hey, my mom requires a bit we or maybe don’t even make it about my mom, we require a bit of extra time. Thanks for your patients, m just put it out there. That’s really good. That’s really good. And so, obviously, when you’re when you had been studying the brain on dementia and Alzheimer’s, What have you discovered? This come into Ziny a TV, which we’re going to talk about in this the last half of our hours and here the functionalities of that. So one of the things that so I talked about this process in speed processing. Speed also impacts the data that people take in. Know that even in the earliest stages of dementia, somebody is missing probably one in every four or five words. Missing one in every four or five words. So what that means is that it’s very difficult for me to participate in complicated conversations, true, and by complicated I mean like pretty much everyday conversations. Once we start talking outside of my comfort zone, I start missing words and I start feeling stupid, and so what I do is I start isolating because I don’t want to be with those people. Well, they make me feel stupid. I don’t want to be with those people. They talk about things I don’t know about. So we know that people ability to take in data is flowed down. This is both visual data as well as auditory data, right, and so we also know that as dementia progressive, people have a hard time telling fact from fiction. I remember when my Stepdad was watching it was a September eleven and the TV was showing footage from so many years ago and he went running in any well, he’s kind of wobbled in and he woke up my mother and he said, Kathleene, Kathleene, wake up, terrible things are happening in New York. He had no sense that this is something that had happened a long time ago. People will watch the news and they see something a reporting about a fire and they assume that it’s their house is on fire. So we know that the things that people see on TV can be very hard for them to identify with. Is it real or not? I can’t really follow what they’re talking about and things are moving so quickly on the screen that I can’t really pay attention, and so what I do instead is I kind of shut down. So we see a lot of people who live with dementia who, for instance, Fall Asleep in front of the TV because I cannot pay attention to what’s going on, so I am going to gracefully exit and just fall asleep. So just some some of the brain changes that impact here’s the way that we respond when we’re watching television with dementia. Well, and it’s so valuable that you have this amazing channel and we’re going to talk about Zinnya TV for everyone that are listening and in the meantime, Allison, how do we get to your channel? And, by the way, they’re stuck to watch right now for free and you can certainly get a sample. So tell us how to reach Zinya TV. Thank you so much. Is Zinya TV, Z I N and IA tvcom named after the Zeny of flower, because the Zinny of flower blooms in any conditions, even terrible ones, and we want to help people living with dementia continue to Florish. I love that, and so in our next two segments in the bottom half of the hour, we’re going to talk about the Zinnya TV and why it’s so effective with those with Alzheimer’s Dementia, and Alison will be right back right after this.
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Founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., Suzanne Newman proclaims often, “Caring for my mom was the hardest thing I ever have done, but it was also my greatest privilege.” Following a career of over 25 years in sales, media, and marketing management, Suzanne Newman found herself on a 6-year journey caring for her mother. Her trials and tribulations as a family caregiver inspired an impassioned life mission outside of the corporate world to revolutionize the journey that so many other American families also find themselves on. In 2009, she became the founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., subsequently hosting hundreds of radio segments and podcasts, as well as authoring her first book. Suzanne and Answers for Elders, Inc. have spent 14 years, and counting, committed to helping families and seniors along their caregiving journeys by providing education, resources, and support. Each week on the Answers for Elders podcast, Suzanne is joined by vetted professional experts in over 65 categories including Health & Wellness, Life Changes, Living Options, Money, Law, and more. Suzanne lives in Edmonds, Washington with her husband, Keith, and their two doodle dogs, Whidbey and Skagit.