As Alzheimer’s spreads throughout the brain, logic departs. The ability to understand one’s world disappears, understandably being replaced by fear and suspicion. These emotions are often blamed by caregivers when the person that they love refuses to take needed medications.
How vital is fitness to aging? Very.. A recent study of participants in the 2015 National Senior Games, also known as the Senior Olympics, revealed that the typical participant had a fitness age of more than 20 years younger than his or her chronological age. According to the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, fitness age is determined by a measure of cardiovascular endurance and is a better predictor of longevity than chronological age.
It’s been known for years that poor dental health increases a person’s risk for heart disease. In the recent past, poor dental health has been mentioned as a possible risk for Alzheimer’s disease, as well. Now, a large and lengthy study has confirmed a probable correlation between poor dental hygiene and dementia.
..Caregivers and their loved ones are on the serious end of this spectrum. Yet, they, too, may develop a vision for how they would like to spend the time that they have left together. Deciding what caregivers and care receivers would like to accomplish together while the ill person can still enjoy life is tricky and highly unique to each pair involved.
Dear Carol: My mom had a stroke and recently has been diagnosed with vascular dementia with possible Alzheimer’s disease. Dad is her primary caregiver although I go to their home daily to help out. My immediate question is how do we cope with the fact that Mom continually takes out her hearing aids and pulls off her glasses? She seems to hear reasonably well without her aids and she can see well enough without her glasses to watch TV and walk around. She no longer can process what she reads so that isn’t an issue. Dad and I both wonder if she’s not better off being left alone with her preference but maybe that’s bad for her. What’s the best approach? K.F.
A recent AARP survey discovered that 93% of Americans find maintaining brain health to be very important, however very few know the best ways to make this happen. When asked how to maintain brain health, results showed that many of the methods that are scientifically proven to improve or maintain brain health ranked as low priority areas for most respondents.
Many 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.
When you hear the next plea for increased Alzheimer’s funding – and you’ll hear a lot of it during the upcoming Alzheimer’s Awareness months, both global and national – your first thought will likely be that the money should go into to find a cure. However, people who already have the disease, as well as those who care for them, may disagree. A recent survey showed that these people feel that more financial resources should be dedicated to helping them live life with some quality.
...One story that stands out in my memory was told to me while interviewing people for “Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories.” The woman’s whole family had gathered by her father’s bedside. It had been days for some, hours for others, but they had all arrived. Their father had been withdrawing into himself, and they knew that his time to leave would soon come. Then, he rallied. He was able to sit up and even talk a bit. There was a spark in his eye. He told his family to go and get something to eat. During the time it took the family to grab some fast food at a nearby restaurant, the father died.
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 children must make decisions for their parents’ living arrangement, medical care and even end of life treatment. We have more options for care than we did a couple of decades ago,