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Medications Should be Carefully Controlled as Alzheimer's Advances

Medications6While Alzheimer's specific drugs may help slow symptoms for some people, they also may increase the risk of hip fractures, fainting, urinary problems and other health issues. Most researchers now think that a time comes when many medications for the elderly are no longer beneficial and may be harmful. According to an article in JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester looked at 5,406 nursing home residents who had late-stage Alzheimer’s or dementia with more than half of them being older than 85. The scientists found that 2,911 of the patients - nearly 54 percent - were taking at least one medication of questionable benefit.

Read full article on HealthCentral about how medications can become negative as people age:

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Optimistic Thinking May Help Preserve Memory and Judgement

ProudIt should come as no surprise that optimistic thinking is, for the most part, better for one’s health than negative thinking. In fact, negative thinking has been connected to poor health for some time. A recent study confirms what was previously suspected, linking optimistic thinking to the preservation of memory and good judgement. Both of those traits bode well for staving off, if  not preventing, Alzheimer’s disease. Research conducted by the University of Michigan has linked an optimistic outlook to taking better care of ourselves overall, which may explain the effect that optimism has on Alzheimer’s risk.

Read more on HealthCentral about how positive thinking can help preserve our cognitive abilities:

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Alzheimer's Apathy Preventable with Stimulation

Fatherson4smallLack 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 stimulating activity can help offset common apathy in those living with Alzheimer's:

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6 Potentially Reversible Conditions That Can Mimic Dementia

ComfortingWhen dementia symptoms appear it’s natural to fear that the person affected has an incurable form of dementia. Rather than reacting with panic, however, it’s far better to try to remain calm and have a specialist make the determination. Many forms of dementia are incurable, of course, but other conditions can present symptoms that resemble those of dementia but are in fact reversible.
 

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Related articles


Study: Omega-3 Fatty Acids Can Reverse Fructose Damage

Food2Fructose 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 to begin mitigating damage done in the past while we try to improve how we eat. This study shows that omega-3 fatty acids, known as docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, seem to reverse the harmful, genetic changes caused by fructose. DHA is found most abundantly in wild salmon but is also available in other types of fish as well as fish oil, walnuts, flaxseed, and fruits and vegetables. Good quality fish oil supplements may also help, though they haven’t been studied as thoroughly as whole fish.

Read full article on HealthCentral about fish oil and the way it may mitigate the damage done by fructose:

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Minding Our Elders lets you know that you are not alone, that you are not going to be perfect, but you can get the job done, You do the best you can, and that is good enough. We can't be Carol, but we can learn from her going before us. What a friend to have. What a gift she gave us. – CM Jones


Broken Heart Syndrome Hastens Death of Some Spouses

HeartDear Carol: I read one of your articles which said that you had lost both your parents in quick succession so I identify with you. I live in the UK. In early March, I lost my father, aged 92.  He didn't want anyone with him when he passed away. Then, exactly two months later, my mother, aged 88, passed away at home. She waited until I was holding her hand, then she squeezed my hand, slightly opened her eyes to look at me, and peacefully passed on. Mum and I had talked about the future and I told her I would always live near her, or with her, if she preferred. She had seemed fine, but shortly after Daddy's death, she was diagnosed with metastatic cancer. Mum passed away within three days of leaving the hospital. I was able to tell her how much I loved her, but then I had to let her go. I just wondered how quickly your Mum passed away after your father, and if you believe that your mum didn't want to go on without her husband. Thank you for reading this. – Meghan

Read full column on Inforum about broken heart syndrome:

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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


Fitness Is a Vital Part of Aging Well: An Interview with Dr. Drapkin

BicyclingHow vital is fitness to aging well? 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.

I asked Robert Drapkin, MD FACP, to help us understand the importance of physical activity to those of us who simply want to remain healthy. Dr. Drapkin is a former Instructor in Medicine, University of Illinois Hospital, Chicago, and a Memorial Sloan-Kettering trained Medical Oncologist. He’s Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Medical Oncology, and Palliative Care and a competitive body builder, as well.

Read full article on Healthcentral about the science behind aging well:

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Dietary Needs Change for People Over 50: Here Are Some Tips

Food2Turning 50 is a milestone for many people. The half-century mark comes with new rules for medical tests and often brings a couple of health-related signals indicating that it’s for some dietary changes. Even if you have packed away a healthy 50 years or more, our nutritional needs change over time. Gradual dietary tweaks may be wise in order to ensure your golden years are, well, golden. To help you determine what nutrition your body needs as you age, it can be helpful to schedule a consultation with a registered dietician. To give AgingCare readers a head start, I asked Jeanna Freeman, RDN, to provide us with some rules of thumb for senior nutrition. As the clinical dietician at Blakeford, an elder care, and senior living provider in Nashville, Tennessee, Freeman works with elders of all ages and abilities to help them improve their health through smart eating.

Read full article on AgingCare about how our dietary needs change as we age:

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An amazing book of stories that will touch your heart and encourage you, especially if you are a caregiver. Carol  Bradley Bursack also has an excellent website devoted to the elderly and their caregivers. - Carol Heilman


Stress and Alzheimer's: More Evidence Strengthens the Link

Brain6Stress 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.

Read full article on HealthCentral about stress and Alzheimer's and need to take care of ourselves:

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Why Whole Foods Lower Your Risk of Alzheimer's, Diabetes, and Heart Disease

Diet1Poor diet has become increasingly recognized as a precursor to poor health, including diabetes and brain diseases, and the health issues are often intertwined. For example, diabetes increases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, the suggestions for maintaining heart health are very close to those given to maintain brain health. HealthCentral conducted an email interview with Dr. John Douillard, DC, CAP, to discuss the ways that diet may influence the risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease in particular, but related diseases, as well.

Read full article on HealthCentral about how your diet  - especially whole foods - can lower your risk of Alzheimer's, Diabetes, and Heart Disease

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