Memory Feed

Is Alzheimer's As Hard on the Caregiver As the Person with the Disease?

DepressedWoamnIt seems shocking to hear people ask whether dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s since it’s the best known, is as hard on the caregiver as it is on the person with the disease. After all, developing dementia of any kind is one of our greatest fears, even overtaking cancer. A caregiver who asks this question must be incredibly heartless and selfish, right? Yet, people who've never been a caregiver for someone with dementia need to think this through. When a loved one develops dementia, both the care receiver and the caregiver have entered an incredibly challenging time of their lives. 

Read full article on HealthCentral about the rigors of dementia caregiving: 

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


Looking Toward Assisted Living: Strategies for Downsizing

DaffodilsFor most seniors, moving from their home of many years into an assisted living facility is difficult. For some, it's nearly paralyzing. Even if they are moving to a very nice assisted living environment, the move will likely mean a significant loss of space, especially if they are leaving a house. Downsizing – the term often used for weaning ourselves from long-time possessions – can be hard for anyone. When it's more or less forced upon someone because of age or infirmity, the process becomes even tougher. 

Read more on Agingcare about downsizing for assisted living:

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


8 Lessons of Dementia Caregiving

Journal1Most of us find, as we travel our unique journeys, that certain phrases or concepts take on the status of truth in our world view. Our personal truths may not be identical to those of others, but we know what is true for us. Below, I've shared, as food for thought, a few of my own truths that have developed during my personal caregiving journey.

Read full article on Agingcare about lessons learned in caregiving:

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


Death of Life-Long Spouse Often Leaves Survivor Vulnerable to Loneliness, Health Problems

DepressionDear Carol: My parents had been married nearly 60 years when my mother abruptly died from a heart attack. Dad held up well during the first weeks. He’d say that he was glad that she didn’t have to suffer a long time like so many people do. But after a couple of months, Dad started to develop strange habits like humming tunelessly to himself and mumbling gibberish. He also seems to have lost his appetite and has had several falls. I notice more memory lapses than before, as well. I know that spouses of long marriages have a tough time adjusting to their loved one’s death, but this is not at all what I expected. Could these happenings be from something else or does this stem from my mother’s death? RCD

Read more about elderly losses on Inforum:

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 Risk Higher for Women: Why?

ComfortingIt’s been known for years that women are more at risk for Alzheimer’s disease than men.  Now there’s even more evidence of gender differences. A new study has found that among those who've been diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), women show a much faster rate of memory loss than men.

Read more on HealthCentral about why Alzheimer's is more prevalent in women than in men:

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


Brain Games: Do They Offer Brain Protection or Simply Entertainment?

BraingamesDo brain games make a difference in staving off brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s or are they just harmless fun? While studies have been all over the map on this issue during the last few years, lately they indicate that at least formal brain training may help, which indicates to me that well designed informal brain training would have at least some validity. The National Institute on Aging (NIA) has this to say:

Read more on HealthCentral about brain games and the benefits or lack of benefits:

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


Reminiscing Powerful “Drug” for People with Dementia

Caregiving4I love stories. When I was a teenager, I’d encourage my grandparents to relate stories of their young years struggling to survive on the wind-swept prairie. When I grew older, I was fascinated by the stories my parents and in-laws told of their early years of growing up during the Great Depression. Little did I know at the time that peoples’ stories would become the springboard for my life’s work. Now there is mounting evidence that encouraging our elders to reminisce about their past is therapeutic as well as enjoyable.

Read more on HealthCentral about how reminiscing can help people with 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


Bilingual People May be Better Protected Against Alzheimer's

Brain7The first elder for whom I became a primary caregiver was my neighbor, Joe. He was born of Norwegian immigrant parents who spoke Norwegian at home. As a result, Joe needed to repeat first grade because he spent his first year in school learning English. While Joe went on to become a well educated engineer who spoke English with no Norwegian accent, in his later years he did occasionally talk about the challenges he faced as a Norwegian speaking child. Joe’s experience of growing up in a home where a language other than English was hardly unusual since, historically, the U.S. has been populated by immigrants. What’s surprising to me is that when Joe was young, educators thought that he and others like him would be at an educational disadvantage.

Read more on Healthcentral about how bilingual people are less at risk for 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


6 Potentially Reversible Conditions that Can Mimic Dementia

ComfortingWhen dementia symptoms appear, it’s natural to become frightened and jump to the conclusion that the person affected has an incurable form of dementia. Rather than looking at the symptoms with panic, it’s far better to try to remain calm and have a specialist make the determination. Yes, many forms of dementia are incurable, but there are conditions that can present symptoms that seem like dementia but are reversible.

View slideshow on HealthCentral about reversible conditions that can mimic 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


Anxiety May Speed Onset of Dementia When Paired with MCI

Brain5Multiple studies have shown that stress, and anxiety which is often at the core of our stress, can lead to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Now, a recent study has shown that anxiety and stress can increase the risk of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) turning into Alzheimer’s disease, as well.   People with mild cognitive impairment are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than the general population. Therefore, these findings suggest that while lowering stress is good for all of us, it’s vital for those who have MCI to keep stress levels low in order to decrease their risk of developing full-blown Alzheimer’s disease. 

Read full post on HealthCentral about how anxiety can speed onset of dementia especially when MCI is present: 

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