Medication 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

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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


Alzheimer’s Can Dramatically Change Financial Future

MoneyAlzheimer’s organizations, as well as the National Institutes of Health, have provided us with an abundance of statistics highlighting the financial effect of Alzheimer’s disease on the family of someone with the disease. A person who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s can be expected to live with the disease anywhere from six to 20 years. For many of those years, the person with Alzheimer’s will likely require paid outside help, and the cost of that help can be financially devastating.

Read more on HealthCentral about the financial challenge of caring for someone with Alzheimer's:

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


Alzheimer’s Symptoms: Navigational Skills may Deteriorate Long before Memory

ElderlywomanCaregiverTypically, when we think of the early signs of Alzheimer’s disease we think of memory problems. Words go missing, names escape your grasp and tasks to be done are forgotten. Now, researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have shown that making mental maps of where we have been and where we are going is a process the brain may lose before memory problems begin to show. People with these early symptoms can no longer navigate even a familiar area as they once did.

Read more on HealthCentral about navigational skills and early detection of Alzheimer's:

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


Kegel Exercises: Prevent or Improve Urinary Incontinence Problems

Caregiver6“It has happened to all of us: we cough, sneeze or laugh and suddenly we feel that unique sensation of a bladder leak. The makers of incontinence products would have us believe that small bladder leakages are normal and manageable. This may be, but most women feel embarrassed and uncomfortable if they experience leakage, and no one enjoys planning trips around the closest bathroom locations. So, is there anything that can be done to prevent or manage urinary incontinence? Absolutely!”

Read full article on Agingcare about how Kegeling can improve incontinence issues:

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


Diet Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids Can Reverse Fructose Damage According to Researchers

FoodThinkStockPhoto credit: Think Stock

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.  

Read more on HealthCentral about fructose and the effects of Omega-3 fatty acids on our health:

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


Many Common Drugs Have Mental Side Effects That May Contribute to Dementia

Medical_tablets_03_hd_pictures_168380Many of us have become aware that prescription medications such as Ativan, Xanax and Klonopin may have serious side effects including memory issues. These drugs, which are generally prescribed for anxiety, can possibly increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease since they are in a class known as anticholinergic drugs. They work by blocking a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine in the nervous system. Many OTC drugs used for sleep and allergies are anticholinergic drugs as well, a fact that's been well publicized. 

Read more on HealthCentral about common drugs that may contribute to 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

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


Depression and Dementia Challenging Combination to Manage

Medical_drugs_tablets_222894Dear Carol: My mother has had problems with mild depression all of her life but up until now she’s managed it without drugs. Mom’s now 81-years-old. A few months ago she was diagnosed with early stage dementia so her doctor put her on drugs for Alzheimer’s symptoms. After starting these drugs, Mom’s depression got worse so the same doctor prescribed an antidepressant. Now her depression is worse than ever, she’s confused, and she has nausea and digestive problems. Is this the normal course of events for someone like my mother? I’ve always liked this doctor and he’s cared for mom for years but I’m uncertain about the direction that this is going. FHM

Read full column on Inforum about dementia drugs and antidepressants for the elderly:

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


Is Poor Dental Health Linked to Alzheimer’s?

DentalCareDr. Joseph Banker is a veteran cosmetic dentist who has contributed to several media outlets including Newsweek, Shape Magazine and DentalTown. He studied at the prestigious University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, and trained at The Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies and the Rosenthal Institute of New York University.   When I learned that Dr. Banker was interested in the relationship between gum disease and Alzheimer’s I requested an interview with him. Below are Dr. Banker’s answers to my questions on the relationship between oral health and Alzheimer's disease.

Read more on HealthCentral about poor dental hygiene and the brain:

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