Medication Feed

Convincing People Living with Dementia To Take Pills

Medications6Dementia care demands incredible creativity. The ever changing needs of the person who has dementia challenges family caregivers and professionals alike. One particular frustration is getting important medications into their loved ones who either can’t or won’t cooperate when it comes to taking pills. As Alzheimer’s spreads throughout the brain, logic departs. The ability to understand one’s world disappears, understandably being replaced by fear and suspicion. These emotions are often blamed by caregivers when the person that they love refuses to take needed medications.

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Consider Side Effects When Deciding on Medications

MedicationThinkstockPhotos-76800121Dear Carol: My mother is 78 and has always been physically healthy and mentally sharp. During her last physical exam, she told her doctor about some annoying incontinence issues, and her cholesterol numbers were up, as well. After much discussion, her doctor put her on a drug for incontinence and one for cholesterol. Over the course of a few weeks, we both noticed that Mom's memory took a nosedive. Her pleasant personality has become argumentative, and she's impatient and anxious. We checked with her doctor, but he says that these drugs rarely cause problems and he wants her to keep taking them, claiming this is just a sign of age. Could we be in denial about Mom's age and unfairly be blaming her new issues on the drugs? — TL

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Middle Aged and Worried about Alzheimer's?

I Brainn general, awareness about Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia is a positive step forward. The downside is that many normal people over 50 worry that they are developing Alzheimer’s if they have even occasional glitches in cognition. Should you worry when…

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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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Depression in Elders: Symptoms, Triggers and What to Do

DepressionthkstkDepression in the elderly is not unusual, and can be brought on by any number of factors, ranging from physical issues or cognitive issues to life events. Spouses, adult children, and friends can take steps to help. These steps include:

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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


Caregivers Alert: One in Three Cases of Alzheimer’s May be Lifestyle Related

Diet...Accepting this current failure to produce a drug that is of real help to people with the disease has been a struggle for researchers at large. There are still many questions about exactly what triggers Alzheimer’s disease and whether or not there is just one cause or if there are several. Researchers will continue to try to solve the puzzle. Most likely they will eventually develop a method that can reliably prevent or cure Alzheimer’s through pharmaceutical intervention. Meanwhile, as is often the case, acceptance of this current failure has led to studies that seem to have produced some hope on a more basic level.

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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


Maintaining Gut Health As the Body Ages: Expert Advice

GutHealth...There are countless products on the market right now to help improve gut health and immune function, but do any of these actually work? Which options are best for a senior’s unique issues? I contacted Woodson Merrell, MD, ScD (hc), to get some answers on how to maintain gut health as we age.

Read full article on Agingcare about gut health as we age and how vital that is for our overall  health:

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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


Medications Should be Carefully Controlled as Alzheimer’s Advances

Medications7While 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 more on HealthCentral about how medications must be monitored and often reduced with age:

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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


Are Lack of Hygiene and Over Sleeping a Sign of Dementia?

Depression2Dear Carol: My father, who is 83, refuses to shower or bathe. Mom can’t budge him. He used to be very clean. He was also interested in fixing things around the house and he loved yard work and playing poker with friends. Over the last months he’s completely changed. All he wants to do is sleep in front of the TV.  He won’t even put on fresh clothes in the morning unless Mom snatches his dirty clothes and puts them in the wash before he goes to bed. Mom says he’s also careless about taking his blood pressure medications. His memory seems normal for his age, which is to say that he does forget things occasionally but no more than Mom or others of his age. We dance around the Alzheimer’s word, probably because we’re scared that this is what is wrong. What do you think? VK

Read more on Inform about potential causes for lack of hygiene with elderly spouses or parents:

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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


Flu Kills: Keeping Our Elders Safe

DoctorFlu isn't just an inconvenience, especially among the elderly population. For expert information on how caregivers can help their elders stay healthy and if possible avoid the flu, I reached out to Martie Moore, R.N., MAOM, CPHQ, who is Chief Nursing Officer, Medline Industries, Inc. for some answers.

Read full article on HealthCentral about how to prevent flu or care for our elders when it strikes:

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Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Granddaughter’s Caregiving Neglects Self, Creates Dilemma

GrandfatherGrandaughterDear Carol: I grew up with my grandparents because my parents were killed in a car accident and they both loved me a lot. My grandmother died seven years ago when I was 23. I’d been on my own for a few years, but I moved back in with grandpa after he had a stroke. Things have gone fairly well with me working part time jobs and spending a lot of time with him. Lately, though, his memory has gotten very bad and he’s become stubborn about taking his medication, which he was always good about before. He’s also having more trouble getting around. I’ve finally started a good job with prospects for a future, but I can’t leave grandpa alone for long. My friends, as well as grandpa’s friends, tell me that he needs to go to a nursing home. They think it’s better for both of us but I feel like I should stay and take care of him like he took care of me. If I stay, I can’t take the full time job which I really want. I’m so confused. What do you think I should do? TK

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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