Creating the Best New Normal

Statue of Libery Welcome Sign

ARTICLE: DEMENTIA VILLAGE INSPIRES NEW CARE

I read this interesting article a couple days ago about a Dutch village made entirely of residents with dementia. The residents were allowed to go anywhere in the village and it was setup so there was only one door to get in or out. All the stores and events in the village were managed by caretakers that were trained in caring for dementia patients as well as some skill like cooking, grocery clerk, cutting hair.

What I liked about this article was that the residents could walk around freely. They could explore and feel like this was their home and community while still being supervised at every moment. This article and one of the videos also touched on the power of music. I think I’ll do some more research on the link between dementia and music because there’s some really powerful elements there.

But this village is a really interesting read. The author highlighted that these residents live longer, eat better, and report a higher quality of life. I think that’s attributed to the freedom and “independence” they experience as well as the sense of ownership and having a home all their own.

I know this is something we’re working to create for George. He’s currently living with Mateo and Rachel so he can be supervised, but how can we create a place for him that he feels like is his and where he has the freedom to roam around and not get into anything troublesome? I think the other key takeaway here is having activities like music, grocery shopping, courtyards where he can be engaged and not bored during the day.

What are some other activities that can help with engagement levels – activities that are not overly complicated but that will keep engagement up for a time?

Arnold Had It Right

Body Builder Weight Plates

 

article: PUMPING IRON COULD WARD OFF DEMENTIA

I read the article above today from The University of Sydney’s Brain & Mind Research Institute. The study had patients suffering from mild cognitive impairment, which is often a precursor to dementia, do weight lifting exercises for six months. The patients’ cognitive functions improved after the six months and continued to persist at higher levels a year after the study. Planning, organizing, strategizing, and visual memory function improvement were specifically called out.

I think this is a fairly easy idea to grasp. I grew up learning exercise is good for us. It decreases stress levels and depression, helps reduce heart disease and high blood pressure. It releases serotonin – the feel good hormone – and increases energy. So it’s seems obvious that exercise is good for those suffering with a mental disease as well.  I think the exciting part of this study is the opportunity that exercise presents for maintaining and even improving mental capabilities in dementia patients.

Weight training is interesting too. They didn’t have the patients walk or play sports or any other type of exercise. The study was looking at if the hormones released during weight training  that lead to muscle growth might also help lead to brain growth. And it seems there’s a correlation. Pedro’s done some weight lifting exercises with George before. George seemed to have a good time with it. Although it can be a little scary when he gets distracted lifting a free weight above his head! We definitely need to invest in some of those small colorful free weights. I’m sure TJ Maxx and Ross have some pretty cheap ones in their workout equipment section.

I think the other key here is investing the time to figure out some weight training exercises that are simple, repeatable, and easy enough to practice. Also, first get doctors approval for participation. The study did weight training sessions twice a week. And do a warm up before and cool down after working out.

Here are some activities they used or that the CDC recommends for elderly weight training.

  • squats
  • lunges
  • bicep curls
  • overhead press
  • walking up stairs
  • resistance band rows

Maybe in a future post Illl record which activities George enjoyed best.

Additional Resources

CDC Exercise Activities for the Elderly

Welcome to the Garcia Family Blog

WHO WE ARE

Family photo Christmas 2014

Family photo Christmas 2014 – Ana, Dorotea, Puddles, Pedro, Kelsey, Daniel, Maria, George, Simon, Sofia, Mateo, Rachel

Tumadro is the Garcia family incorporated. It was born out of the entrepreneurial spirit of the family and as the first step in creating the family company. The Garcia family is expansive, but the core family unit is Dorotea, George, Mateo, Pedro, Maria, Ana, Simon, and Sofia. The family has begun to grow with Mateo marrying Rachel and I dating Pedro. I’m lovingly called the IT Department by Pedro which is why I’ve taken the first step in managing this website and setting up a blog. My goal in setting up this blog is that they can begin to capture the hundreds of ideas and opportunities they come up with each day. That may be me capturing them to begin with, but over time their voices will be active on here as well.

The Garcia members are are entrepreneurs at heart – all ambitious to create something great and to do it together. They all have very different skill sets. Mateo in the medical industry making huge strides in South American sales as well as having degrees in physics and industrial engineering. Pedro is by far the most personal and relatable person I know – he can talk to anyone and makes friends so easily. He’s also got a degree in industrial engineering and is my go to Excel wizard. Maria is so talented in a way I could never dream up – designing amazing stages for some of the largest events in the world (superbowl, Ultra, rock of roll hall of fame, and many more). Ana is the free spirit – business focused but never settling for the easy road. Degree in international relations minoring in economics and business. She’s leveraged her passions working with several startup companies since graduation. Simon is the talented opera singer about to begin his college adventure studying under world renowned professors. Sofia is the two-time student body president of her high school (going for the third and final run this semester)! She’s also very musically inclined with a great Nora Jones kind of jazzy voice. I should mention they’re all musically inclined – singing, playing guitar, piano, trumpet, trombone, saxaphone. Dorotea heads the family and has a lot of the characteristics of her kids – artistic, great at connecting people, discovering opportunities, helping friends and family. George is the good natured father. He was a cattle rancher when they were all growing up in Colombia (they moved to the US in 1997). In the past few years George has developed Dementia. He’s young and this has put a lot of stress on the family to take care of him in a way that honors him. I think many of these blog posts will focus on that journey as they seek out more information about this disease as well as the battles they continue to face in helping care for him.

Ana, George, and Maria walking around in Atlanta.

Ana, George, and Maria

Mateo, Simon, and Pedro at Mateo's wedding.

Mateo, Simon, and Pedro

Simon, Ana, Sofia, and Dorotea

Simon, Ana, Sofia, and Dorotea

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHY AND WHAT

The intent of this blog is to capture ideas.

  • About dementia – how to prevent brain and function deterioration, breakthroughs in science, coping emotionally. This disease still has many unknowns and I think others are struggling with similar situations. Hopefully this blog may help others with ideas or provide an opportunity for idea sharing.
  • Home renovations and design – I bought a house recently! And it’s a bit of a fixer-upper, so if the family ever runs short of ideas (or more likely just hasn’t shared them yet) I may share some of the projects I’m working on in my house (idea sharing, feedback).
  • Opportunities – this entrepreneurial family is full of ideas and it’s time to start capturing some of them to see if it’s worth bringing them to life.

If any of these ideas are interesting to you I hope you’ll find this blog valuable. And I’ll try to flag the category of the blog post since these are pretty broad!

Please leave comments or email us with any thoughts, questions, or suggestions at info@tumadro.com.