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:
http://napa.alz.org/national-alzheimers-project-act-backgroun

Not just for seniors… grandCARE helps developmentally disabled too.

The grandCARE system remote monitoring and communication solution may have started by solving a need to help the elderly age in place, but it’s not just for seniors. Our product has shown to be an effective monitoring solution, as well as, a social and communication tool for developmentally disabled individuals, allowing them to live more independent lives.

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Channel 13 ABC affiliate in Toledo, Ohio, recently featured a success story on how a grandCARE solution is being used as an in-home monitoring tool by the Lucas County Board of Developmental Disabilities to help individuals with developmental disabilities remain more independent.

http://www.13abc.com/home/headlines/Developmentally-Disabled-Learn-To-Live-More-Independently-297697701.html

In addition to remote monitoring and video communication functions, the grandCARE system’s simple touchscreen design can include easy one-touch access to a wide range of information including: Facebook photo sharing, Calendars, Task List Reminders, Messaging, Letters, Games, News, Weather, and virtually any website.

For even more added benefits, our system capabilities can include wireless motion sensor activity monitoring and digital medical device vital measurement tracking.

To learn more about how a grandCARE system solution can benefit your organization or someone you know, please visit our website at: www.grandCARE.com.

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HomeCare Magazine highlights grandCARE as an aging in place solution

HomeCare Logo

GrandCare Systems was recently featured in HomeCare Magazine in an article by Graham Miller about aging in place. Technology is transforming the way both aging populations and health care professionals view and manage health care, with the reality being that the best way to keep people out of hospitals and long-term care is through prevention. Digital health tools, such as the grandCARE system, can be the key to greater prevention and managing long-term health needs for seniors.

In the article, Graham Miller writes:

“Every day, tens of thousands of Americans are turning 65, and three factors—longer life spans, rising health care costs and aging baby boomers—are driving the growth of this demographic. An overwhelming percentage of these aging adults desires to stay at home, maintaining an active, independent lifestyle for as long (and as safely) as possible.”

“The Affordable Care Act has changed how both consumers and companies view health care,” says Dan Maynard, president and CEO of GrandCare Systems. “The cost of health care continues to rise, especially for the aging populations that require more frequent and longer-term health care monitoring.” A large part of the new legislation focuses on hospital readmission reductions and consequences for reactive versus proactive care, he says, and there are significant financial incentives for hospitals to actively work with Patient Safety Organizations (PSOs) to reduce costs associated with patient readmissions. Products like grandCARE incorporate resident information and support, captured resident data and professional caregiving tools, encouraging everyone in the caregiving support network to work together to achieve true patient-centered care. “A path of a patient/provider partnership results in better outcomes for both the patients and the caregivers because it creates greater efficiency for the caregiver staff by allowing virtual care, which results in fewer at-home visits,” says Maynard.

Our product is designed to reduce health care costs and improve outcomes by enabling family members, caregivers and health care professionals to remotely care for an individual living at home. The system uses a large touch screen in the residence, which provides the individual with social communications, health care monitoring, visual daily reminders and medication prompts. The easy-to-use interface means that no computer skills are needed for the resident to engage in all of the touch screen features. The system also supports virtual video visits, telehealth device recording (which takes vitals such as wireless blood pressure readings, weight, pulse oximerty, glucose and thermometer readings) and remote in-home activity sensing.

We recently incorporated a new professional caregiver and user task management feature into the system, which allows the resident and caregiver to follow a daily schedule of tasks (such as medication administration, caregiver education, scheduled appointments, etc.).

Caregiver showing grandCARE user new task list feature on the resident's touchscreen.

Caregiver showing grandCARE user new task list feature on resident’s touchscreen.

“This new feature enhances the resident engagement aspect by giving the resident a daily to-do list and establishes complete transparency for professional caregiving organizations by providing a task list that is required to be completed during home visits,” says Maynard.

– See more at: http://www.homecaremag.com/aging-place/mar-2015/smart-home-solutions-aging-population#sthash.Hxk28Xpy.dpuf