Dementia is not a single disease. It’s a non-specific syndrome that affects cognitive areas of the brain that control memory, language, attention and problem solving. To be considered dementia, the problems must be severe enough to affect daily living. Because Alzheimer’s is responsible for 50 to 60 percent of dementia cases, it’s the most broadly recognized form. However, there are up to 50 different known versions of dementia.
Alzheimer's organizations have worked diligently to raise public awareness of the disease. Their efforts are paying off handsomely. I’d challenge nearly anyone to find a friend or neighbor who hasn’t heard enough about Alzheimer’s disease to give some type of description of the symptoms. The downside of this awareness, however, is that even doctors can jump to possibly faulty conclusions when they see an elderly person showing signs of memory loss or significant confusion.
...Even a person without a cognitive disorder can momentarily hesitate when making a decision about how to respond to a dog running across the street or a children playing near a curb. Then there are traffic signs, brake lights on the vehicle ahead of the driver, confusing lane changes – we all know these challenges. When a person has dementia, it’s simply harder to process these abundant cues and to respond appropriately. This inability can make the person a dangerous driver.
A global research study is now enrolling for people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. If you are a caregiver of someone living with Alzheimer’s disease, please visit AlzheimersStudies.com to see if they pre-qualify for this research study.
As a research study participant, your loved one may receive an investigational study drug that might slowdown or halt the disease’s progression. They will have the opportunity to continue receiving the investigational study drug at the end of the research study.
Read more about this Alzheimer’s study by clicking here or call our research study team at 1-855-786-7259.
...The National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP) is one resource every caregiver should look into. The links to the NFCSP support features can be found on your state website as well as the Administration on Aging site. The NFCSP provides grants to states and territories, based on their share of the population of people aged 70 and over, to fund a range of supportive services that assist family caregivers caring for a loved one at home.
Short of neglect or abuse of the care receiver, nearly every family caregiver must be free to make choices that work best for their unique situation. Even then, the available choices aren't always ideal. You simply have to try and acknowledge what it really means to just do your best.
Once again, diabetes and Alzheimer’s are sharing headlines. A study conducted by researchers from Lancaster University in the U.K. has shown that a commonly used diabetes drug, liraglutide, may reverse memory loss in the late stages of Alzheimer's.The drug, from a class known as GLP-1 (Glucagon-like peptide-1) analogue, is prescribed to diabetes patients because it stimulates insulin production.
Dear Carol: My wife has advanced Parkinson’s complicated by dementia and needs constant care. She’s mostly bedridden. I love her dearly, and we’ve spent considerable time talking about our past vacations and other enjoyable things we’ve shared. We have no children. As much as I love her, I’m finding myself becoming extremely lonely and isolated as she becomes less and less able to communicate. While we don’t have a lot of money, we are comfortable. Hiring in-home caregivers will be costly and I don’t know if I can trust them. Yet I know I should get out more. Where do I draw the line and start creating a life apart from my wife’s illness. – David
...Alzheimer's disease is thought to be characterized by a build-up of amyloid protein in the brain, which clumps together to form toxic, sticky balls of varying shapes. These amyloid balls latch on to the surface of nerve cells in the brain by attaching to proteins on the cell surface called prions, causing the nerve cells to malfunction and eventually die.
The use of music has become nearly universal in any senior environment because throughout the decades people who care for elders have seen positive results of using music as therapy. For example, in the PBS documentary “You’re looking at me like I live here and I don’t,” a staff member is shown serenading residents as she strums her guitar. She also encourages residents to sing-along. The nursing home featured in the documentary routinely plays background music appropriate to the era when most of the residents were young, music Dad would have liked. This is progress.