Caregivers often find that many of their superficial friends drift away over time because the caregiver is too busy to have fun. These friends are not bad people. They simply don't know what to do to help the caregiver and they find it easier to share their time with people whose lives are less complicated. Are you this kind of friend?
Caregivers often grieve while watching their aging or ill loved ones push away food because of digestive issues or a lack of appetite. We know that they need nutrition and calories in order to maintain and improve their health, but how do we make this happen when they don’t want to eat?
A few months ago, a gerontologist told us her story about how she coped as a family caregiver when her father developed swallowing problems (dysphagia). Considering the seriousness and frequency of these issues with aging adults, I felt that we needed further information from a specialist. I contacted speech-language pathologist Kathryn Kilpatrick who has spent four decades helping people cope with these issues.
Fructose has been tagged for years as a harmful part of the Western high-sugar, fast food diet. A recent study conducted by UCLA life scientists may show us a way toward mitigating the damage done in the past while we try to improve how we eat. This study has shown that Omega-3 fatty acids, known as docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, seem to reverse the harmful genetic changes caused by fructose.
The strongest evidence to date that poor dental hygiene is linked to brain degeneration has emerged from a recent study at the University of Florida Dental College. While cardiologists have long known that the bacteria that causes gingivitis (gum disease) may enter the blood stream adding to heart issues, there had been fewer studies to link Alzheimer’s or other dementia to oral health.
Many 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:
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.
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.
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.
Stress has long been considered a major risk for developing Alzheimer’s, but there hasn’t been any real understanding as to why this is so. Now, researchers at the Center for Translational Research in Neurodegenerative Disease at the University of Florida think that they’ve come closer to discovering the connection.