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June 2012

Another study shows stress hormones likely increase Alzheimer’s risk

If we’re alive, we are coping with a significant amount of stress. Yet stress hormones have been shown to have a negative effect on our health. Now, the recent article, "Stress may increase risk for Alzheimer’s disease: Stress hormones lead to Alzheimer-like protein modifications,” brings to light epidemiological studies by scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in which the scientists hypothesized that adverse life events, which generally cause stress, may be one trigger for Alzheimer’s disease. Read more →


Study says exercise key to preventing Alzheimer’s

A recent paper published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry reported on some encouraging results about the benefits of exercise. Researchers at Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan concluded exercise is something we can do right now to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. While the study was done on mice, the researchers feel strongly that people will show similar results. Read more →


9-year study concludes preventing or managing diabetes prevents cognitive decline

As far back as 2006, the New York Times was reporting on the deepening link between diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. Now, new results from a study led by researchers from the University of California San Francisco show that there is a link between the risk of cognitive decline and the severity of diabetes. Read more →


Reminiscing powerful “drug” for people with dementia

I love stories. When I was a teenager, I’d encourage grandparents to relate stories of their young years struggling to survive on the wind-swept prairie. When I grew older, I was fascinated by the stories my parents and in-laws told of their early years of growing up during the Great Depression. Read more →


Coping with criticism from your loved one

Caregivers frequently turn their lives inside out in order to care for their loved ones in decline. I know, because I've done it. The number of elders who depended on my help increased throughout the years, to a total of seven, though the most I cared for at one time was five. I also had two children and work part time writing as a freelancer. Read more →


Alzheimer’s diagnosis not always accurate

Dear Carol: My dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease three years ago. Recently, after the elimination of some medications Dad had been taking for years, the doctor changed the diagnosis to vascular dementia. In some ways, dementia is dementia, I guess, but still the doctor said as dad’s disease progresses the difference will become more apparent. I’m wondering how common this type of mix-up is with a dementia diagnosis. – Paul Read more →


Drug free management of sundowning in people with Alzheimer's

Sundowning, sometimes called Sundown Syndrome, is the label given to late day anxiety, irritability, disorientation and general agitation in people with Alzheimer’s. Sundowning frustrates home caregivers and professional care staff alike, as they often feel completely unable to comfort the person affected. Researchers and care staff alike are looking for answers. Read more →


Hidden financial costs when we quit our jobs to care for our loved ones

I don’t need a study to tell me that leaving the workforce to become a family caregiver has cost me, financially. All I have to do is look my puny projected Social Security. Over two decades of my adult “productive” years have been spent caring for elders and children while not working at paid employment. Eventually, I did go back into the workforce, even though I was still a primary caregiver for three elders and one young adult with health issues. Read more →


Family mediator can help you over the rocky road of caregiving

Even siblings who grew up together with fondness for each other often have different ideas about what the right care for aging parents incorporates. When siblings have clashing personalities, or family issues have driven them apart, finding middle ground on anything can be extra challenging. However, the reality is that for many families the time eventually comes when adult childrenmust make decisions for their parents’ living arrangement, medical care and even end of life treatment. Read more →


Administration on Aging programs provide assistance for caregivers nationwide

Nearly any family caregiver has felt isolated and alone at one time or another. For many, that feeling is chronic. Friends don’t understand the strain we are under. Some people get no support from their extended family or friends. Where can we turn when there seems to be nowhere to turn? Believe it or not, many resources are at your fingertips on the Administration on Aging website. Read more →