Aging Feed

Specialized Music Therapy for Alzheimer's and Other Types of Dementia

Guitar2..Fridays at the nursing home were very popular. Regular music groups would come by at the week’s end to play old favorites for the residents, always filling the room with cheer. My dad, who had dementia caused by failed surgery, loved the live music but also responded well to CDs of his favorites from the big band era. I know that his quality of life during his last ten years would have been diminished without music to help override the effects of dementia.

Read more on Agingcare about specialized music therapy for people with dementia:

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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

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Many Common Drugs Have Mental Side Effects That May Contribute to Dementia

Medical_tablets_03_hd_pictures_168380Many of us have become aware that prescription medications such as Ativan, Xanax and Klonopin may have serious side effects including memory issues. These drugs, which are generally prescribed for anxiety, can possibly increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease since they are in a class known as anticholinergic drugs. They work by blocking a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine in the nervous system. Many OTC drugs used for sleep and allergies are anticholinergic drugs as well, a fact that's been well publicized. 

Read more on HealthCentral about common drugs that may contribute to dementia:

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

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Can Hospitalization be a Dementia Risk?

DeathSupposedly, people are hospitalized because they are ill. Then, barring a terminal condition, they are released because they are better. Once home, people recover further, and continue on with their lives as well as their original illness allows them to. Unfortunately, with elderly people, that best case scenario doesn't always happen. Readers ask about the cognitive decline of a post-hospitalized elder. They want to know what happened. They want to know if their parent will ever be cognitively the same as he or she was before a hospitalization. I tell them that each case is unique, but according to many studies, some elders may not cognitively recover from the trauma.

Read more on Agingcare about hospitalization and dementia risk:

Support a caregiver or jump start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders of Minding Our Elders e-mail Carol

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


When Does Senior Forgetfulness Need Evaluation?

  OldercoupleDear Carol: My husband and I are both in our late seventies. There have been a few times when my husband has left the stove top burner on and sometimes he leaves water running after he leaves a room. Maybe it’s more because of distraction than forgetfulness, since I know that I’ve done similar things, but how do we tell? He seems to remember names and other details as well as anyone our age. When I mention my worries to my husband he gets defensive and reminds me of small things that I’ve forgotten. I’ve read the list of possible Alzheimer’s issues online, but that didn’t help much. How do older people decide if they need to be checked out for dementia?  Linda 

Read more on Inforum about older couple wondering about memory problems:

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

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Elders’ Loss of Appetite Complicated

BerriesHCAdult children often worry about their aging parents’ eating habits. Sometimes the elders live alone and don’t feel like cooking or even going out to buy groceries. They may have pain issues that keep them from enjoying food, or dentures that make chewing uncomfortable. Depression can be a factor for some people, as can medication side effects. Loneliness, especially for people who have lost a spouse to a nursing home or death, can make eating seem unimportant or unattractive.

Read more on HealthCentral about elders' appetite loss:

Support a caregiver or jump start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders of Minding Our Elders e-mail Carol

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Life Experience May Offset Cognitive Decline Due to Aging

Brain7Could life experience make up for some of the effects of age on the brain? According to researchers from the School of Business Administration at the University of California, Riverside, it can and does. The research group measured a person's decision making ability over their entire lifespan. Using two difference types of intelligence - fluid and crystallized – they found that experience and acquired knowledge from a lifetime of decision-making often offset the declining ability to learn new information. 

Read more on HealthCentral about how life experience can offset aging decline:

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

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Summer Outings for Seniors and their Families

GrandfatherboyMany aging adults spend the bulk of their time just managing to get through the day. They take care of life's basics but often don't leave their home, assisted living center or nursing home, except for doctor appointments and an occasional holiday. Families and friends might like to take a senior out for some fun but they don't know how to go about it. Even seasoned caregivers can be stumped for ideas, so here are a few to get started:

Read about 10 summer outings on Agingcare:

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

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Sibling Relationships: Resolving Issues While Caring for Parents

PensiveIssues between brothers and sisters often seem to come to a head when a parent suddenly needs care. While siblings who have always had a healthy relationship generally find ways to work through their disagreements, many who never truly got along can find themselves frustrated, hurt and even completely estranged from one another in the end. In either scenario, objective, professional advice can be helpful for those families who are working towards conflict resolution at a time when everyone should be cooperating.

Read full article on Agingcare about sibling issues and caregiving: 

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

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Driving and Memory Loss: Tips to Help Elders Give Up Driving

CarkeysFor much of our society, the ability to get into a car and drive to a desired destination is a sign of independence. Therefore, convincing a person that he or she should no longer drive is frequently an emotional battle. Often, the longer adult children or other involved people wait to discuss driving issues with a loved one who has cognitive issues the harder it can be since advancing dementia generally involves a declining ability to make balanced decisions.

Read more on HealthCentral about driving and how to help someone give up the right to do so:

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

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Depression and Dementia Challenging Combination to Manage

Medical_drugs_tablets_222894Dear Carol: My mother has had problems with mild depression all of her life but up until now she’s managed it without drugs. Mom’s now 81-years-old. A few months ago she was diagnosed with early stage dementia so her doctor put her on drugs for Alzheimer’s symptoms. After starting these drugs, Mom’s depression got worse so the same doctor prescribed an antidepressant. Now her depression is worse than ever, she’s confused, and she has nausea and digestive problems. Is this the normal course of events for someone like my mother? I’ve always liked this doctor and he’s cared for mom for years but I’m uncertain about the direction that this is going. FHM

Read full column on Inforum about dementia drugs and antidepressants for the elderly:

Support a caregiver or jump start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders of Minding Our Elders e-mail Carol

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling