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July 2015

Dementia Caregivers Grief Soul Deep, Defies Labeling

ChurchWhen a beloved elder dies, we may have varying reactions, frequently changing moment by moment. Naturally, there’s grief and the realization that we’ve seen the last of our loved one’s physical presence. Often, however, if the death follows a long illness or significant pain, we can also feel a sense of relief that their suffering is over and we can get on with healing. It’s often the in between time – the caregiving years – that are the most difficult to label. 

Read more on HealthCentral about dementia caregivers and their unique grief:

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“I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.”  Craig William Dayton, Film Composer


Alzheimer’s Risk Higher for Women: Why?

LonelyPersonIt’s been known for years that women are more at risk for Alzheimer’s disease than men but the reasons haven’t been clear. Now there’s even more evidence of gender differences. A new study has found that among those who've been diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), women show a much faster rate of memory loss than men. The 2015 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference took place recently in Washington, D.C. While many topics were covered, including some drugs that are showing promise, this study about women has attracted its share of attention.

Read more on HealthCentral about Alzheimer's risk for women:

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Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook

“I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.”  Craig William Dayton, Film Composer


9 Tips for Visiting Elders At Home or In a Facility

VisitingwomanLoneliness can be a plague for the elderly and ill. Yet visiting with someone who doesn’t feel well, and may have limited cognition, can be tricky. Some nervousness or reluctance is natural, but a few considerations can help to make the visit go smoothly.

View slide show on HealthCentral about visiting:

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Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook

“I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.”  Craig William Dayton, Film Composer


Aging Eyes Play Role In Many Diseases According To Study

BridgeToCloudMany of us become aware of vision changes in our early to mid-40s, when we find, as my mother used to say, that “the print in the newspaper keeps getting smaller.” What’s happening, of course, is presbyopia. As the eye ages, the lens of the eye gradually loses its ability to focus on close objects, thus the prevalence of reading glasses in our mid-years. 

Read more on HealthCentral about aging eyes and disease:

Contact Lenses, Glasses and Accessories: 

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Overly Emotional Responses Upsetting To Stroke Victim's Family

StormywaterDear Carol: My father was always quietly supportive. He loved his family but showed little emotion. Six months ago he had a stroke and is now in a nursing home. His speech has been affected and he has trouble finding the words he wants to use. He’s receiving therapy but will likely be wheelchair bound the rest of his life.  We have a large family and we all visit often. Mom practically lives at the nursing home with him.  He can seem fairly content but then out of nowhere he starts to cry. I know that these changes in his life have to be terribly depressing, but there doesn’t seem to be any logic to his crying spells. What can we do to help him? - Sandra

Read more on Inforum about stroke related crying:

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Managing Diabetes Helps Prevent Cognitive Decline

BlueberriesHugeAn article on the UCSF website reports on a 9-year long study by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and the San Francisco VA Medical Center. The Health, Aging, and Body Composition (Health ABC) Study enrolled 3,069 adults over 70 at two community clinics in Memphis, TN and Pittsburgh, PA beginning in 1997. All the patients provided periodic blood samples and took regular cognitive tests over time. 

Continue reading about how managing diabetes helps reduce cognitive decline:

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Loneliness May Increase Dementia Risk, Heart Attacks and Stroke

LonetreeA study published in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry has found that people who feel lonely are significantly more at risk for developing dementia. The study, headed by Tjalling Jan Holwerda of the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, found that participants who reported feeling lonely, no matter how many friends and family surrounded them, were more likely to experience dementia than those who didn’t feel lonely. 

Read more on HealthCentral about loneliness and dementia risk:

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Exercise May Be One Key To Alzheimer's Prevention

RunningA 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 on HealthCentral about how exercise may help prevent Alzheimer's for some people:

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Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook

“I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.”  Craig William Dayton, Film Composer


Factors To Consider In Best Cell Phone Plans for Seniors

Farm...First, we must ask ourselves who this person is. Are we talking about an aging adult with failing health, who may also be technology averse, or a person who is active mentally and physically—one who has likely evolved with technology? Are we considering someone whose sole financial support comes from Social Security, or a person who has a solid retirement, travels frequently and wants to video conference with scattered family members?

Read more on Agingcare about the best cell phone plans for Seniors:

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Male Caregivers Need Unique Support

ViewaloneTraditionally, most men have a harder time sharing feelings and emotions than women do. They seek medical advice less often than women and they tend to resist attending specialized support groups more than women. While the trend for younger men may be leading them toward a more open way of communicating, it’s the older generation whose wives have developed Alzheimer’s that is faced with caregiving. These men are often uncomfortable sharing confidences with people who they view as outsiders.

Read more on HealthCentral about male caregivers and their need for support:

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