Our family's introduction to dementia was different than the typical case. Most people with dementia will decline slowly, giving loved ones time to adjust. However, no time frame makes accepting dementia easy.
It may surprise people to know that there are a significant number of young people barely out of their teens who have become caregivers for their grandparents. Many of these young people were raised by their grandparents. In other instances, the grandchild becomes the primary caregiver because he or she lives closer to the elder than other family members. Sometimes, it's simply because a particular grandchild feels close to the grandparent and has the "caregiver personality."
While many researchers dismiss supplements out of hand when it comes to Alzheimer’s disease, thankfully not all do. The MEND study, conducted a UCLA concentrates on exercise, mental challenges, diet and supplements for reversing Alzheimer’s. While it was a small study, the results for reversing Alzheimer’s were impressive. Now, a study at University of Oxford has shown what the scientists view as a groundbreaking treatment for halting Alzheimer’s disease using a combination of Omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins.
Dear Carol: I’m trying to determine whether or not it’s wise to take my mom out to public events or even to family gatherings. She has middle stage dementia. When I took her to her grandson’s program last Christmas she became upset and agitated, yet when I recently took her to a music event in the park she enjoyed it. Now, we’re looking at this same grandson’s high school graduation. I hate to have Mom miss the event as well as the celebration afterward but I don’t want to upset her or embarrass her grandson. How does a person decide what kind of event is appropriate? Evelyn
I watched my mom struggle with painful arthritis in every joint. She'd had two hip replacements and her knees rubbed bone against bone with every step. Sometimes, watching her struggle with her walker tore at my heart so much, I could hardly help but insist that she let me get her into the wheelchair.
...Daytime sleeping only becomes a problem when an elder spends the majority of the day dozing in a chair rather than engaging in life. People with dementia seem especially prone to this type of daytime sleeping, sometimes losing interest in meals and even failing to notice that they need to use the bathroom.
Fearing that their aging parents could be injured, caregivers can become nagging nannies who struggle to stop Dad from working in his beloved shop or Mom from gardening. Insisting that elders avoid all risks compromises their loved ones’ dignity and often their joy.
When the paperwork was finally signed to get hospice care for my dad, I was grateful. There would now be a routine of care for him where he could live in comfort. That's all he really wanted. However, I knew that breaking this news to Mom would be difficult. She'd have to finally admit, and somehow accept, the fact that Dad was dying. After all, hospice care is for people diagnosed as terminally ill.
Being in a vulnerable state of health doesn’t necessarily turn a person who was historically abusive to family members into a sweet lamb. Even the best of us can get cranky when we don’t feel well. The frustrations of dementia can be even harder to cope with than physical pain. Good people can become hard to deal with when faced with these issues.
Completing crosswords, making a habit of Sudoku and playing challenging brain games on the Internet have long been suggested as methods of maintaining our cognitive health. These are all fine pursuits,but recent research by Mayo Clinic has shown that creative arts such as painting, drawing and sculpting may protect the mind against cognitive decline even better than the commonly used forms of brain exercise.