Dear 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
Adult 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.
For 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 that 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.
June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness month. What better time is there to become educated about how to help people who have dementia live a better quality of life, help their caregivers with support and resources, and teach others about the many types of dementia and other brain diseases that can occur? Steps have been taken but there is much more to do.
For many reasons, some identified and others still a mystery, women seem to be more at risk of developing Alzheimer's than men. A recent study, led by Dr. Laura Ekblad, University of Turku and Turku University Hospital, has discovered one physical issue that could be added to the list of Alzheimer's risks for women. That of insulin resistance.
...RLS can affect caregivers and/or their care receivers, both of whom can be short on sleep. Knowing that we had a need for a sympathetic medical ear, I asked Keith W. Roach, MD, Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, for the facts. I have been a fan of Dr. Roach’s work for a long time because he has what I consider to be a balanced approach to medical care and he projects an attitude of relatability and sympathy. Dr. Roach answered my questions by phone.
Whether we are taking an elderly person to a family reunion or a backyard picnic this summer, we need to be aware that summer heat can become deadly as people age. From less efficient cooling systems to more illnesses and medications, elders have many issues that can make them vulnerable to extreme temperatures. Don’t let the heat stop you from taking your elder out for some fun, but prevent problems by finding a shady place for your loved one to sit and check frequently to see if he or she is comfortable.
... Hospice has found that many people wish at the end of life that they had allowed themselves to be happier. Happy doesn’t necessarily mean we are happy with every circumstance. It simply means accepting where we are in life and making the best of it.
The National Eye Health Education Program (NEHEP) is offering informative tip sheets for people with diabetes that may help them keep their sight. These tip sheets focus on different needs for different ethnic groups. Read below and download (you can cut and paste the link) for the tip sheet that works for you. - Carol
Diabetes has become an epidemic in the United States. In the past 30 years, diagnosed cases of diabetes have increased more than 30 percent. If diabetes is not managed, it can lead to serious complications, including vision loss and blindness. In fact, diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults ages 20 to 74 years old.
All people with diabetes are at risk of losing vision from diabetic eye disease. However, 95 percent of severe vision loss can be prevented through early detection, timely treatment, and appropriate follow-up.
The National Eye Health Education Program (NEHEP), of the National Eye Institute (NEI), recently launched a tip sheets series, which includes ideas to engage African Americans, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Hispanics/Latinos, and older adults in learning more about diabetic eye disease.
Each tip sheet contains information on diabetic retinopathy as well as suggested educational resources that can be used to educate people about how to protect their vision by having a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year and keeping their health on TRACK. That means: Take your medications as prescribed by your doctor; Reach and maintain a healthy weight; Add more physical activity to your daily routine; Control your ABC’s—A1C, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels; and Kick the smoking habit.
To download the tip sheet series and find other diabetic eye disease resources from NEHEP visit
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. Yet, we both knew that if she didn't move she'd get worse.