Sunday, March 28, 2010

Young Caregivers: Important Pieces of Alzheimer's Care

I was reading the Winter/Spring 2010 issue of care ADvantage. The magazine is a free publication from the Alzheimer's Foundation of America. I am always impressed with what I learn when I read one of the magazines.

Carol Steinberg, Executive Vice President at Alzheimer's Foundation of America, wrote about Max Wallack - Pay It Forward: Teen Puts Pieces in Place for Puzzle Project. He is a 13 year old who started a nonprofit company two years ago - Puzzles to Remember. He has been collecting and distributing them to adult day care centers, nursing homes and other facilities whose residents suffer from Alzheimer's.

Max was one of the 1.4 million young American caregivers aged 8-18 years old; he helped take care of his great grandma. During the last few months of her life she lived in a dementia unit. While visiting his great grandma he noticed other residents working on puzzles. This activity seemed to keep them calm. He did some research and confirmed that he had discovered a piece of the Alzheimer's puzzle.

He discovered that working on puzzles is an example of an activity that helps stimulate the brain cells that may help slow the progression of the symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease. Young Max said the best puzzles have less than 200 pieces and have an adult theme.

In November 2009 he received an American Express grant from the Do Something organization, for his work with Puzzles to Remember. The organization helps young people under the age of 25 by giving them encouragement, resources and grants so they can Do Something to make a difference.

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