Brain Health Feed

Protection for Nursing Home Residents: Will New Rules Remain?

Nursinghome3New rules for the protection of nursing home residents have been implemented as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Many of these rules provide answers to concerns that have troubled families with loved ones living in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), generally called nursing homes. I emailed Medicare expert Ginalisa Monterroso for an update on these rules and what they mean for nursing home residents and their families. 

Read full article on HealthCentral about protections for nursing home residents:

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

The stories in this fine book showed us how others have gone through similar things with their families and that is somehow reassuring. There are some helpful suggestions but mostly there is the recognition that others went through the same thing. All we can do is our best. That is greatly reassuring during these difficult emotional times. If you are a caregiver, this is a must read. - Delores Edwards


6 Tips To Help Modify Financial Drain on Alzheimer's Families

Money...Also, Alzheimer's and dementia caregivers had $9.3 billion in additional health care costs of their own in the same year. Nearly 60 percent of Alzheimer's and dementia caregivers rate the emotional stress of caregiving as high or very high, and more than one-third report symptoms of depression. Remember, this is just the cost for caregivers.There’s also the possibly bankrupting cost of medical and other care for the person with the disease to consider. The Alzheimer’s Association and the ADEAR Center, which is the Alzheimer’s research arm of the National Institute on Aging, have suggestions that can help. 

Read full article on HealthCentral about finding help for the financial drain of Alzheimer's:

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


The Root of Alzheimer's: Could Infection and Inflammation be Part of the Equation?

StethoscopeWhen it comes to Alzheimer’s disease, a number of researchers think that it’s time to reconsider the idea of infection as a root cause. Scientists are now pointing to studies that reveal the presence of a microbe as a possible trigger for the disease. The theory is that microbes "find their way into the brain via the bloodstream and lie dormant until triggered by aging, immune system decline or by different types of stress…once they are activated, the microbes then damage brain cells - either directly or via inflammation.”

Read full article on HealthCentral about a new look at the root of Alzheimer's:

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


Heart and Brain Health Closely Related

HeartHealthFor years the Alzheimer's Association has made good use of the catch phrase "what's good for the heart is good for the brain." As additional research is conducted in both areas, that simple phrase is proving to be solid thinking. The startling admission of notable researchers who attended the 2014 Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Copenhagen that a healthy lifestyle is, at this point, the best hope we have to prevent or delay Alzheimer’s symptoms underscores this concept. Not surprisingly, the lifestyle recommended for preventing Alzheimer’s disease is also the lifestyle that is recommended for staving off heart attacks and stroke.

Read full article on HealthCentral about the relationship between heart health and brain health:

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


How To Get People With Dementia To Take Pills

Medications5Dementia care demands incredible creativity. The ever changing needs of the person who has dementia challenges family caregivers and professionals alike. One particular frustration is getting important medications into their loved ones who either can’t or won’t cooperate when it comes to taking pills. 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.

Read full article on HealthCentral about convincing people living with dementia to take necessary pills:

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


Tai Chi Reduces Falls and Improves Brain Function

TaiChiTai Chi, an ancient Chinese practice, is a self-paced system of movement where you perform a series of postures in a slow, graceful manner. This form of gentle exercise helps lower stress levels and encourages focus. Recently, the National Institutes of Health has said that tai chi has the ability to help reduce falls in older people, as well.

Read full article on HealthCentral about Tai Chi and its ability to help the body and the brain:

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

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Caregivers Confess: Thoughts We Aren’t Proud Of

FriendsWouldn't it be nice to be a caregiver who had only loving thoughts every moment of the caregiving day? Maybe there are caregivers like that. If you are one of them, I truly congratulate you. Most of us who have been through years of caregiving will not fall into that category.  Here's a sampling of caregiver thoughts that I've heard people talk about. You'll likely feel better just reading them.

Read full article on Agingcare about  those little thoughts that we wish we didn't have:

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


Major Changes Like Moving Can Set Back Health of Some Elders

MovingDear Carol: My mother’s memory has gotten very poor, her arthritis puts her at risk for falls, and she has severe asthma, so she decided that she’d be better off in assisted living.  My brother and I were in agreement and we went with Mom to look at available facilities. We were thrilled with what we thought was the perfect home. Since the move, though, Mom has lost interest in everything. She won’t do her once cherished crossword puzzles, even when I bring the newest ones published. Her magazines pile up unread. She won’t participate in any of the interesting activities that the facility offers and has to be begged to go to group meals. It’s like she pulling in on herself. We have to sell her house to continue paying for her assisted living, but now my brother and I feel guilty. What if she wants to go back to her old home? She says, no, that’s not what she wants. She likes feeling safe. Yet she shows no interest in life. To be fair, this was coming on long before the move, but it’s worse now. How do we handle the situation? Tim

Read full article on Inforum about how moving can affect someone with Alzheimer's:

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


Alzheimer's Apathy Preventable with Stimulation

Depression7Lack of enjoyable, stimulating activity can lead to apathy for anyone but particularly those with Alzheimer’s disease. According to a 2013 report by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), apathy is one of the most common neurobehavioral symptoms in dementia. Strong, focused stimulation can help people with Alzheimer's disease overcome apathy. People with mild dementia will decline more quickly into severe dementia if they also suffer from apathy, therefore engaging, stimulating activities are especially vital to this group.

Read full article on HealthCentral about how apathy in people with AD may be preventable:

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


Our Parents are Human: What Mom Got Right and What She Got Wrong

MomDaughter3I have experienced the shock of watching my parents age before my eyes. Even though I lived in the same community as my parents and saw them often for the greater part of my life, their aging came at me like punches to the gut from time to time. You may be experiencing a similar reaction. These people once took care of our needs. Now they need—or may soon need—our help. While it's not a logical train of thought, we can feel a little betrayed when we find ourselves in this situation. The child inside of us rebels. We don't want our parents to grow old and frail, for their sake and for ours. We can begin to feel kind of orphaned.

Read full article on Agingcare about the right and wrong of how you may have been raised:

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