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New Screening Methods for Alzheimer’s Disease Improving Diagnoses

DoctorPatientIn the not too distant past, being tested for Alzheimer’s disease was expensive, time consuming and too often resulted in a misdiagnosis. Recently developed methods of testing that are working their way toward mainstream care should help alleviate these concerns. These new methods are, or should become, less expensive, much faster and often more accurate than previous methods. The following slides provide a preview of some new tests for early Alzheimer’s detection that are making their way toward your doctor’s office.

View slideshow on HealthCentral about more new screening methods for improving Alzheimer's diagnosis:

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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


Illnesses and Hospitalization Can Permanently Worsen Dementia

DeathDear Carol: Can illnesses like a bad cold, the flu, a urinary infection or other common ailment make someone with Alzheimer’s worse? My mother had been diagnosed to be in quite an early stage of Alzheimer’s disease but she still got along very well. She then developed a cold which was followed by a UTI and then pneumonia so we had to have her hospitalized. The whole experience was terrible. Mom’s physical issues were eventually taken care of by antibiotics and she seems alright physically, but she’s gotten much more confused and her short-term memory has deteriorated markedly. I’m wondering what caused this big change so quickly. The doctor said that since Alzheimer’s is progressive it’s hard to tell. He’s guiding us toward looking for a memory unit for Mom since she lives alone and I can’t quit my job to take care of her at home as progresses to the middle stages of the disease. This stage now seems much closer than a month ago before she got sick. Is this a common situation? STC

Read more on Inforum about how illness can make dementia worse:

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


Predicting Alzheimer’s: Biological Age Overrides Chronological Age

Research6...The question that travels hand in hand with these studies is who should start these drugs if they do prove to be effective? It’s not prudent to simply give the drugs to the whole aging population.We may soon have an answer to that question. A study that shows differences in biological aging vs. chronological aging could help us find a way to differentiate between those for whom early treatment should be considered and those who aren’t likely to require the drugs.

Read more on HealthCentral about the differences between biological age and chronological age:

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


Toronto AD Convention: Where Your Work Matters

TorontoNew research released at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference held in Toronto in late July suggested, among other things, that people who work closely with other people may be better able to withstand the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. The data showed that a cognitively stimulating lifestyle may even counteract the negative cognitive effects of an unhealthy diet, which has been associated with memory and thinking declines in older adults.

Read more on how our environment affects our risk of Alzheimer's and other new findings:

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


Families Need to Know About Elders’ Prescription Changes

Medical_drugs_tablets_222894Dear Carol: My dad has been in a nursing home for several years and, for the most part, we’re happy with the care. A problem occurred lately, though, where I’d like your thoughts. Dad has been on a medication for mental illness for years. We’re aware that this medication has side effects but we also know how miserable he is without it. Anyway, the dosage of this medication was lowered and we weren’t told. I found out about the change because of Dad’s behavior. I asked the floor nurse and she told me that an order had come through to lower the dosage. I then checked with the doctor who said he hadn’t lowered the dosage but that there was an order on Dad’s records for the change. In the end, we got the medication reinstated at the proper dose and Dad is improving. The staff knows that I have the medical Power Of Attorney for Dad's health.  Am I wrong about thinking that I should have been told? KB

Read more on Inforum about how medications can affect elderly and why family needs to be kept in the loop:

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


Folic Acid May Aid Elders During Heat Waves

Medical_tablets_03_hd_pictures_168380The type of heat exhaustion or mild dehydration that a middle aged caregiver may feel during a heat wave is uncomfortable, but the same occurrence could be deadly for an elder. Because of the seriousness of overheating, some older people take a prescription drug that helps increase blood flow to the skin which in turn helps them cool off. Recently, Penn State researchers published information suggesting that folic acid, also known as vitamin B9, may be an inexpensive alternative for prescription drugs for the elderly during heat waves. Folic acid also increases skin blood flow and has been shown to reduce cardiovascular events, as well.

Read more on HealthCentral about how folic acid may help your elder during heat waves:

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 and Heat Waves: a Dangerous Combination

FanHeatOne of the many clues that my mother-in-law was ready to move across the avenue from her condominium to a wonderful nursing home was her response one hot summer to an intense heat wave we had here in the Dakotas (yes it gets hot on the prairie). She would have every window shut tight and her fan and air conditioner turned off. No circulation. No cool air. Nothing but dead heat.I'd get the Ac and fan turned on - not too cool, but some air moving - before I left her from my daily visit. Sure enough, when I'd get back the next day her condo was like a hot tomb. Suffocating.

Read more on HealthCentral about elders and heat waves:

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


Respecting Elders’ Dignity May Require Accepting Risk

GardeningLadyIt’s difficult to watch our parents age. As their hair grays, wrinkles form and age spots multiply, we adult children can find ourselves feeling protective. We want to keep them healthy. We want to know that they are safely at home when there’s the slightest risk of bad weather. We don’t want them taking risks that could result in an injury. That’s love, after all, and parents appreciate being loved. It’s a mistake, however, to make yourself director of your parents’ lives simply because they are piling on years.

Read more on HealthCentral about respecting the dignity of elders:

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


Monitor Your Blood Pressure to Avoid Vascular Dementia

BloodPressureIf the risk of a stroke or heart attack doesn’t scare you into controlling your blood pressure, surely a heightened risk for vascular dementia should. While Alzheimer’s is thought to be the most common form of dementia, vascular dementia follows closely behind in ranking. The two mixed together are also common, so consider yourself at risk for dementia unless you have a healthy vascular system.

Read more on HealthCentral about watching your blood pressure to prevent vascular 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


5 Examples of How Forgiveness Can Improve a Caregiver's Life

ForgivenessForgiveness, or the lack thereof, can loom large in the life of a caregiver. Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting. That is rule number one for people to remember when they are working toward crafting better relationships with family members and others whom they care about. Forgiveness can have enormous benefits for the health of the person who does the forgiving. Considering that negative thinking can be disastrous to your own health , you may want to work toward the positive habit of forgiveness. Here are some people that you may need to forgive along with reasons why you should.

Read more on HealthCentral about how forgiveness can improve your own life:

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