Hospital Feed

Pain: How Is It Perceived by People with Dementia?

Comfort6It’s far too easy for onlookers to view someone with dementia as unable to feel pain. Since the disease eventually renders most people helpless and cognitively inexpressive, they can't articulate what hurts or why they are upset. Caring researchers have now brought new insight to this issue. In an article on altered pain processing in patients with cognitive impairment, Medical News Today states that new research shows how wrong previous ideas about what people with cognitive disorders could feel have been.

Read full article about pain and dementia on HealthCentral: 

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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:

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Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Can Hospitalization be a Dementia Risk?

DeathSupposedly, people are hospitalized because they are ill. Then, barring a terminal condition, they are released because they are better. Once home, people recover further, and continue on with their lives as well as their original illness allows them to. Unfortunately, with elderly people, that best case scenario doesn't always happen. Readers ask about the cognitive decline of a post-hospitalized elder. They want to know what happened. They want to know if their parent will ever be cognitively the same as he or she was before a hospitalization. I tell them that each case is unique, but according to many studies, some elders may not cognitively recover from the trauma.

Read more on Agingcare about hospitalization and dementia risk:

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


Delirium Leading to Dementia One Surgery Risk

BirchtreesAs people age, surgery becomes a greater risk to their overall health than the same surgery would be for younger people. Older people often have less robust immune systems so they are more at risk for general infections and they are more at risk for pneumonia. However, one of the most frightening risks for older people is post-surgical delirium. 

Read more on HealthCentral about hospitalization and delirium: 

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


Paranoia in Seniors Sometimes Linked to Medications or Dementia

Tired-man-10032629Dear Carol: My dad is only 62 but I’m worried that he may have dementia. He’s had depression during much of his life, but what scares me now is that he’s gotten paranoid. He twists memories of things that did happen until the story is unrecognizable and he talks about things in the past that never occurred. The latest is some kind of conspiracy about his past work. Since he was a teacher, there isn’t much controversy involved, but still, as he now sees it, he was a target of some sort of witch hunt.

Read more on Inforum about paranoid behavior in 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


Veterans Benefits Guide from Agingcare Now Available

VeteransAgingcare.com and I have a long history together. I've been writing for them since they began around a decade ago and have enjoyed watching them climb to the top as one of the most trusted sites for our elders and those who care for them. I've also been the face of their support forum for nearly as many years as the site has been active. This is my personal stamp on their credibility. Agingcare has now put together a valuable booklet to help our veterans and their families navigate what can be a frustrating journey to determine what benefits they are eligible for. Take a look.

Free Veterans Benefits Guide from Agingcare

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Hospice Care about Re-Focusing Priorities, Not Giving Up

Coast

Our culture is steeped in language makes accepting the terminal diagnosis of ourselves or a loved one more difficult to accept than it needs to be. Doctors say, “I’m sorry, there’s nothing more we can do. You might as well go on hospice care.” Patients say that they want “aggressive treatment,” until there is nothing else that can be done, then they will go on hospice care. The focus of these conversations is that medicine will do everything possible and then when you give up you will go on hospice care. Hospice is not about giving up. It’s about allowing people who are dying a chance to live their final weeks or months with dignity and quality of life.

Read more on HealthCentral about re-focusing on care under hospice: 

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Witnessing Dying Process Can Bring Unique Insight, Relief

Evening1

Dear Carol: My mother is 84 and has been ill for years with various ailments, including cancer. She recently fell and hit her head badly enough to require a trip to the emergency room. Mom lives in an excellent nursing home, so she was able to return there after the fall rather than go into the hospital. She did well for a time, but now they tell me that she is in the death process. I didn’t know that death was a process. How do I handle this? - Tammy

Read more on Inforum about attending the active death of a loved one:

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


Breaking the Sacred Promise: It’s Time for a Nursing Home

LonetreeIt’s something many of us have done. Our parents are in their middle years and have come home from visiting someone in a nursing home. The hospital-like structure of the older nursing home was disturbing to them. While relating their experience to you they say that they’d hate to end up in a place like that. You jump in and say with feeling and genuine belief, “I’d never put you in a nursing home!” Fast forward a few decades.

Read more on HealthCentral about breaking the promise not to put a loved one in a nursing home:

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


Terminally Ill? Your Location Can Affect Aggressiveness of Treatment

DeathMost of us would like to believe that medical people have our best interests at heart. We, or the people who have been appointed by us to represent us during a healthcare crisis, should be part of the decision as to how far to take treatment. Most of us trust that we’ll have options carefully explained to us so that we can make educated decisions. Apparently, that isn’t always the case. 

Read more on HealthCentral about how life and death is affected by where you live: 

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