Tag Archive for: alzheimers

How one man’s journey with dementia will change lives.

Sandy Halperin

Sandy Halperin

While recently speaking at the National Alzheimer’s Project Act Advisory Council meeting in Washington, D.C., Dr. Alexander “Sandy” Halperin, DDS talked about his life as a dementia patient. The outspoken advocate for the Alzheimer’s Disease Care and Cure cause, openly shared his daily struggles with the symptoms of the disease and its progression since being diagnosed in 2010. During his impassioned speech, Sandy talks about how he often requires the assistance of what he refers to as his “second brains.” Said brains taking the form of note pads, books and documents Sandy has authored over the years, his family memories scrapbook, the grandCARE system technology tool, and his loving wife of over 40 years, Gail.

What struck me most about Sandy’s speech is that save for a few brief moments of a lost train of thought, I wouldn’t have even thought he was a man struggling with the effects of such a disease given his poise and passion for speaking. Having experienced this first-hand, as my own grandmother suffers from late stage dementia, her outward appearance, cognitive, and physical capabilities are marked and noticeably different. She rarely speaks, remains largely confined to her bed in the nursing home where she resides, and her cognitive capabilities are virtually non-existent, as she no longer remembers me as her granddaughter or other close family members whom she has known for years. She is older, at 79 years of age, but her disease progression moved swiftly after receiving her initial diagnosis only a few short years ago. Unfortunately, by that time, she was already too far gone, to the point of requiring extensive care. 

The early warning signs were there, the simple daily forgetfulness of “where did I leave my purse?”. To the re-telling of a story we’ve heard for the umpteenth time. In retrospect, red flags should have been going up, starting probably 10 to 15 years ago. As with anyone, getting older often comes with its fair share of “senior moments”, at some point however, those innocent “senior moments” become something more.

Despite Sandy’s open acknowledgement and awareness that one day, he too may find himself in such a condition as my grandmother, his spirit, courage, and fight to be a vibrant and public voice of awareness for the disease is certainly inspiring. His voice is getting heard and his message on alzheimer’s is loud and clear, “care and cure”. CNN is currently following Sandy, filming a multi-chapter documentary on his personal journey, in a piece appropriately titled, “Sandy’s Story.” The world renowned, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, will also be following Sandy Halperin’s story on “Sanjay Gupta, M.D.

Sandy's Story CNN

A brief excerpt of chapter one of “Sandy’s Story”, by Stephanie Smith, CNN:

“It is a horrifying, gripping, devastating disease that plays havoc on the family and on the patient,” says Gail Halperin, Sandy’s wife.

But, she says, what has softened the blow of Halperin’s diagnosis is the way he responded to it — at least after the initial stunned feeling subsided.

“He immediately came out and said, ‘I don’t want to cover this up. I want to share it with people and be proactive,'” his wife says.

Recent data suggest that such a response is rare: Nearly 13% of Americans reported experiencing worsening confusion or memory loss after age 60, but most — 81% — had not consulted with a health care provider about their cognitive issues, according to the March Alzheimer’s Association report.

One of the goals of the project is to achieve increased awareness, in the hopes that individuals and family member’s recognize the early warning signs sooner to increase the effectiveness of medical intervention, and even incorporate technology aids, like the grandCARE system, to help improve the patient’s quality of life and their ability to remain more independent.

National Alzheimers Project Act Logo

To learn more about this project, and how you may be able to help, please go to:

Enabling Technologies can help Alzheimer’s Patients Stay at Home

Aging in place and enabling technologies like GrandCare Systems have been empowering seniors to remain healthy, safe, and happy at home.

By Heather Kelly, CNN
August 25, 2014


Sensors let Alzheimer’s patients stay at home, safely

(CNN) — Mary Lou doesn’t know that she’s being tracked.

The 77-year-old is in the middle stages of Alzheimer’s and though she lives on her own, her family keeps close tabs on her. If she leaves her Washington D.C. home between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., a silent sensor on her front door texts her daughter an alert.


“It’s kept her to the point where we haven’t even had to have in-home care yet. Our goal is to keep her in her home for as long as possible,” said her daughter Cathy Johnson.

Caregivers like Johnson are increasingly turning to smart-home technology and wearable devices to monitor family members with Alzheimer’s and dementia, helping them live independently longer. One of the first things Alzheimer’s patients lose is the ability to learn new things. It makes getting their bearings and adjusting to a new residence especially difficult. But living alone can pose its own dangers, such as leaving a stove on, wandering off or forgetting to take medication.

“Often, decisions about care are made when safety becomes an issue” said said Beth Kallmyer, vice president of constituent services for the Alzheimer’s Association. Tools like these sensors “can allow people to feel more comfortable” and ease the transition.

Read more at edition.cnn.com.

GrandCare Systems

System Comp HR NEWIndustry pioneer GrandCare Systems, provides the most trusted and comprehensive caregiving technology on the market. Since 2005, GrandCare has enabled individuals to remain healthier, happier, and more independent.

The GrandCare interactive touchscreen gives residents the option to control communications and view specific pictures, listen to audio messages, check calendar appointments, visit designated web sites, play games and brain exercises, and video chat with family.

Using a series of wireless activity sensors and digital health devices, the system can notify designated caregivers by phone, email, or text if something seems amiss.

For more information visit GrandCare Systems online at GrandCare.com.

GrandCare chosen as featured speaker at June 3 InControl Wisconsin event

GrandCare Systems’ Laura Mitchell has been selected to lead a discussion exploring how digital health technologies (activity, medication management, telehealth, socialization) can enable seniors to remain safer, happier and healthier wherever home is. It also engages multiple levels of caregivers, who can better and more efficiently care for an aging client or loved one.

Stop by GrandCare’s booth to experience why GrandCare is a leader and pioneer in the digital health and wellness industry.


Laura Mitchell, VP Business Development, GrandCare Systems Topic: Senior Cyborgs & Technology powered “digital caregivers”

This course is an exploration of how digital health technologies (video chat, activity, telehealth and medication monitoring) will empower the aging and chronic disease mgmt population while providing caregivers and health providers with BETTER information, eliminating the “noise” and enabling proactive, predictive and preventative care.  With the backdrop of the affordable care act, health providers are being penalized for cost of readmissions within 30 days.  Meanwhile, this society is faced with a huge disruptive demographic: the aging population. One can hardly discuss the aging tsunami without addressing the rising cost of healthcare, typically more is spent in the later years in life.  Everyone is looking to provide more cost-effective care where we turn caregivers into “zone players” vs. old school man on man.

Living a Self-Determined Life: A Conference on Empowerment for Older Adults

June 3, 2014

8:45 am – 4:00 pm

Glacier Canyon Lodge Conference Center at the Wilderness Resort Wisconsin Dells

The Living a Self Determined Life conference brings together people who are committed to the notion that older people should be empowered to live the life they choose.

Who should attend:

 – Senior Population

 – Professional Caregivers

 – Geriatric Care Managers

 – Long Term Care communities

 – Healthcare Providers

Register Now


AARP Bulletin Features GrandCare as a New Technology for Aging Parents

Form AARP Bulletin | Sally Abrams

New Technology Could Allow You or Your Parents to Age at Home

Devices give older people the opportunity to avoid or delay the nursing-home decision

Phil D’Eramo used to call his parents four or five times a day to make sure they took their medication. An only child from upstate New York, D’Eramo was worried, especially about his 89-year-old father, who has Alzheimer’s disease. Were Mom and Dad eating often enough? When his father went out for short drives, was he getting home safely? […]

Now he logs onto a website to check their activity, captured via cellular connection, and remotely monitors their medication. He sees the number of times Mom opens the refrigerator, and when Dad goes into the bathroom or heads out the door. The company can alert D’Eramo by text, email, Web or phone if something is out of the ordinary.

“A dazzling array of new technology is giving older people more confidence in their ability to live alone, and it’s helping families avoid the wrenching decision to move an aging parent from his or her home to a nursing facility. “Smart” technology such as sensors, voice activation, GPS, Bluetooth, cellular connectivity via mobile phones, smartphone monitoring apps and sophisticated computers are making aging in place a viable option for an increasing number of people.”

System Comp 2AARP highlights GrandCare Systems as one of these smart technologies:

Who uses it: Gladys Jules lives in Atlanta and has used GrandCare to check on her aunt and mother in South Carolina and to keep them socially connected. Jules’ daughter recently had twins and streams daily photos to her grandmother. Last September, Jules, 62, had colon surgery and now also uses GrandCare daily. She takes biometric readings, organizes her prescriptions and stores her medical information for her kids “just in case.”

What it is: A multipurpose system that tracks daily activity, has medical monitoring (glucose, oxygen, blood pressure, weight) and can display anything: diets, discharge plans, exercises. An interactive touch screen lets Dad watch videos, view family or Facebook photos, listen to music, play games, read the news and video chat with family.

How it works: It uses an Internet connection that communicates with wireless sensors you’ve placed around the house. Caregivers log on to a website to see their loved one’s activity, write them messages and make rules (“Alert me when …”).

Learn more about GrandCare Systems by visiting GrandCare.com.

Other technologies highlighted in the article include MedMinder, Reminder Rosie, Philips Lifeline with AutoAlert, GreatCall 5Star Urgent Response and MobileHelp.

To learn more about aging in place technologies and how they are read the full article from AARP.

Help Sandy Halperin share his Alzheimer’s story!


support sandy

Sandy Halperin has been an unpaid international advocate for Alzheimer’s awareness and is extremely open and honest, sharing his personal battle. His wife is battling cancer and they could use our help!  Please share this with friends & family!!

sandys family
Alexander “Sandy” Halperin, DDS, was diagnosed with younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease in 2010 at the age of 60. As a person living with memory difficulties, Sandy has chosen to remain proactive in his quest for knowledge and not allow the disease to define him. As a member of the National Alzheimer’s Association 2012 Early-Stage Advisory Group, Sandy helped to bring awareness to what he calls “invisible illnesses” or medical problems that may not be readily seen by others. His goal continues to be to speak on behalf of patients and their caregivers dealing with a cognitive impairments to a variety of audiences, and to raise awareness and funds toward Alzheimer’s research, treatments and cures.He is being followed by CNN to tell his story and acting as an invaluable resource to the medical and aging in place industry. Sandy does this because he has a huge heart and truly wants to help others. He does not get paid for his tireless efforts. Sandy’s wife is in chemotherapy, which means both of them had to retire much earlier than they had anticipated.Recently, Sandy approached GrandCare Systems to use the system as a second brain. Sandy is a larger than life person, so naturally he quickly became a close friend. This is the effect that Sandy has on all who get a chance to meet him and/or hear his story. He is truly an inspiration to all of us.

GrandCare would like to help Sandy and his family to remain financially sound. Will you help support Sandy’s cause? 100% of ALL proceeds (after FundRazr’s and pay pal’s fees) go DIRECTLY to Sandy and his family.  No donation is too small. Please consider donating today and share with your friends.


Signs and Symptoms of Functional Decline

3 Common Signs of Functional Decline…and Technology Assists

In the article, Ryan discusses the common signs of functional decline, what to look for – signs to be aware of. He says “Studies have documented that functional decline, i.e., the loss of either complex or basic ADL functions is due to changes in one or more of six areas: physical, perceptual, cognitive, visual and hearing, falling and psychological…”

He focuses on the first three in this blog post (I expect another blog post to follow with the next three)

I am always interested in looking at common factors as we age, and how technologies like GrandCare and others on the market along with a combination of caregiving techniques and supervised care can help in ways to prevent, deter and treat.

1. Physical Decline

Obviously, this happens as we get older. I already notice that I am sorer after running or exercising, I recall a day when I didn’t even think of stretching before or after exercise and today I certainly feel the consequences if I fail to do the recommended body stretching. So, how does losing physical strength, balance, stamina and coordination affect us? It could make a fall more possible, it could prevent the exercise needed to maintain muscle strength, it could encourage more napping. So, what do we do?  Well, obviously, home modification is a big one. We can have wider accessible doorways and ramps, so it’s easier to get around if/when a walker is needed as well as a wheelchair. The inability to walk no longer makes us automatically a candidate for facility life.  We can have systems like GrandCare automatically turn on a light if/when we get out of bed during the night (to mitigate nighttime falls). We can eliminate floor rugs – eliminate the slipping factors involved.  We can set up a GrandCare remote monitoring system, to indicate to caregivers that a loved one may not be moving around as frequently, perhaps is sleeping more, not getting out of a chair the entire day, and even can indicate if movement stops (potentially a fall?)

2. Perceptual Changes

Ryan discusses perceptual changes as “all the senses: vision, hearing, sensitivity to touch, taste – even smell. After all, each is important to overall well-being. If you can’t smell smoke, you may lose your life to a house fire; if your sense of touch is diminished by poor circulation, you may be burned by scalding water”.  So, the nice thing about certain technologies is being able to alert others of potential “hazards”. Technologies can alert family members if the temperature gets too warm or too cold in the home. A GrandCare stove detector could indicate to the Loved One (through alarms, phone calls, etc) that the stove was left on too long or could call a nearby caregiver or neighbor…

Ryan talks about medications sometimes being responsible for changes. Technology can be a great assist in not only medication management (GrandCare can make a phone call, email, text if meds are not taken), but also can give a bigger picture image of how medications might be affecting a loved one. A Florida GrandCare client recently called and tearfully told me that her mother was declining and it seemed as though she had “sundowners”. She knew this because of the GrandCare motion graphs that showed a lack of movement during the day, agitated sleep patterns, activity throughout the night (whereas her mother used to just get up one time a night and soundly sleep the rest). My Florida client took the print out of these motion graphs to a doctor to get his opinion. She and he were both shocked to make the correlation between a medication change (heart medication change) for her mother and the dramatic change in activity/sleep patterns.  He made a tweak to her medications and it made a world of a difference. This is what we’re talking about! This is what makes coming to work worthwhile for me — seeing a true change that technology can make for people, make their lives better, brighter and help caregivers making them into SUPER CAREGIVERS!

3. Cognitive Changes

Ryan discusses losing the ability to focus or multi-task. The inability to remember things short term. Well, I can say that as I’ve aged, I have experienced this a bit! I remember after having my first baby boy blaming my Mom-nesia for things. The reasons? Lack of sleep? Lack of attention (I was pretty focused on the present and making sure I did everything right, I didn’t have the time nor the care to focus on other things). I think this is pretty typical. We forget things as we have to focus on other things, we are compensating every day!  I use my alarm clock every morning, I use my google calendar to remind me of my daily activities – pretty sure if I didn’t have that I’d miss every appointment on my calendar. I use my colleagues, I use my family and my husband to continually provide cognitive assists for me, so I can remember to do things. The fridge still has shopping lists posted, so I don’t forget to grab them. We all need this.  Using technologies, we can provide these services remotely for our loved ones. Providing a TO DO list on a virtual “Bulletin board” makes a lot of sense.  Perhaps a display of today’s events. The thing we’ve always said about GrandCare is that it never gets tired of saying the same thing repeatedly. It never judges, it never gets irritated when answering a question for the nth time. GrandCare can give the time, date, weather reports, medication reminders. GrandCare can tell a loved one that it’s cold outside and remind them to bundle up.


Thanks Ryan for another thought-provoking article!

3 Common Signs of Functional Decline



Functional Decline
Photo Credit: Flickr user e-MagineArt.com.
Everyone changes physically and mentally with age, but there are some changes that can really put a loved one’s safety at risk.  If you think that a loved one may require a transition to assisted living or elderly care, then you must first assess whether they are undergoing a true functional decline.

Functional decline is sometimes difficult to diagnose as individual symptoms often go unnoticed. Below is a list of symptoms of functional decline to be familiar with.

  • Misusing medication (over or under use and deviating from a schedule)
  • Reports of inexplicable behavior from friends, neighbors or family members
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Unpaid bills
  • Changes in spending patterns
  • inappropriate clothing
  • Stains on clothing or upholstery from urine or feces
  • Forgetting how to use simple tools
  • Poorly cared-for pets
  • Repetitive questioning
  • Difficulty in communicating
  • Confusion
  • Unfinished tasks and chores
  • Spoiled or poorly-prepared food

Thursday April 21st GrandCare Webinar – Dealing with Dementia

ATTENTION: These Webinars NOW MEET TWICE A MONTH!  The 1st & 3rd Thurs each month (Same time, same place).

We invite you to join in GrandCare’s Aging & Technology Industry Webinars.

All are welcome to join us! 1st & 3rd Thurs each month

Date:  Thursday, April 21 2011
Time:  2pm EDT (1pm CDT / 12p MDT / 11am PDT)
If you don’t have access to a computer and you would like to call in, please call
#1-408-600-3600        access code: 664 424 313
If you have any problems on webex, please call us at 262-338-6147
NOTE: If you are new to using Webex and you have questions, please contact us at info@grandcare.com. Some of the initial kinks have been fixed, so please try again. You may opt to ONLY dial in (number listed above)

Topic Description: Helping a Loved One Deal with Dementia

Dementia such as Alzheimer’s is scary, but let’s calm some fears. Seeing worrisome signs that point to a possible diagnosis of Alzheimer’s can be so frightening that many people avoid getting a diagnosis.  There is always hope, and we are getting much better at diagnosing and caring for elders with dementia, as well as the families and friends who love them.

Take-away Points:

1. We will learn why diagnosis and education are crucial to the well being of loved ones.

2. Educators are getting better at helping families and elders cope with dementia, so we’ll learn ways that families cope so their loved one can still live a happy, comfortable life.

3.  Even if the diagnosis is dementia, families are able to move forward to find the best possible ways to care for their loved one, as well as themselves.

Sponsored by “Love, Laughter and Mayhem” Author, Cindy Keith

Thursday Conference Dial-in has changed

Hi All –

We have some pretty exciting topics coming up for our weekly aging & technology webinar/conference call discussions.

Our conference dial-in information/webinar log in has changed, so if you are interested in joining us (all are welcome), please send me a private message and I’ll let you know how to get involved.

Calls are every Thursday at 2pm Eastern/1pm Central
We begin with Announcements, then introductions/networking and a roundtable discussion. The roundtable involves people sharing information, ideas, websites (I share boomer authority for example) and more. Then, we have our speaker. Calls last an hour.

This coming Thursday 7-30-09), Phyllis Zimbler Miller discusses how Twitter can help grow your business. The following week, Aug 6 RoseMary Bakker on Dementia/Alzheimer’s online resource, 8-13, Ken Kerr from Home Controls discusses the VALUE of technology and the PRICE tag associated with it.

Many exciting topics coming up!

Please join us!!!!