Seniors Feed

Should You Use Pet Names for Elders? Let Them Decide

ElderlyManCaneTwenty-five years ago, my aunt and uncle moved from the Washington, D.C. area to be with my family here on the Great Plains. One of the few complaints that I heard from my aunt about the move was that when she went to their new bank, the tellers called her by her first name. To someone of her generation, a younger person should have been calling her Mrs. Kelly. Yes, she understood their intent and she now lived in a more open, friendlier community than before, but she felt that first names lacked dignity. Additionally, while she was obviously aging, her mind was quick and her memory accurate. All she wanted was a little respect.

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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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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.

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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

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Predicting Alzheimer’s: Biological Age Overrides Chronological Age

Research6...The question that travels hand in hand with these studies is who should start these drugs if they do prove to be effective? It’s not prudent to simply give the drugs to the whole aging population.We may soon have an answer to that question. A study that shows differences in biological aging vs. chronological aging could help us find a way to differentiate between those for whom early treatment should be considered and those who aren’t likely to require the drugs.

Read more on HealthCentral about the differences between biological age and chronological age:

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


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:

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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


Respecting Elders’ Dignity May Require Accepting Risk

GardeningLadyIt’s difficult to watch our parents age. As their hair grays, wrinkles form and age spots multiply, we adult children can find ourselves feeling protective. We want to keep them healthy. We want to know that they are safely at home when there’s the slightest risk of bad weather. We don’t want them taking risks that could result in an injury. That’s love, after all, and parents appreciate being loved. It’s a mistake, however, to make yourself director of your parents’ lives simply because they are piling on years.

Read more on HealthCentral about respecting the dignity of 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


Dad Crushed When Mom Finds New Love in Care Home

DementiaManDear Carol: My mother developed Alzheimer’s about six years ago.  Dad was her primary caregiver until his health began to deteriorate. At that time, the family talked Dad into placing Mom into a good, local memory unit where she’s lived for two years.  She no longer knows any of her children, or even her husband, but now she’s got a boyfriend in the nursing home. They hold hands and are together as much as possible. Dad knows that Mom’s behavior is caused by the disease, but when he visits Mom and sees them holding hands it breaks his heart. The man’s wife isn’t bothered by the relationship since her husband, who also has Alzheimer’s, is happy. She says to let it go because this relationship doesn’t mean anything. I agree with her, but watching Dad suffer is almost too much. How can we help him? CTB

Read more on Inforum about person with Alzheimer's finding new love:

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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


Till Death Do They Part: Why Long-Married Couples Often Die Close Together

CommunicatingMy first exposure to this phenomenon happened when my parents were in a nursing home. I visited daily and knew the staff and many of the residents. One elderly man on their floor had later stage Alzheimer's disease. His wife of many decades visited him at least once a day until she was diagnosed and treated for breast cancer. Even during the worst of her treatment, she visited as often as she could. Then, she died.

Read more on Agingcare about long-married couples and why they may die close together:

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


UK Reporter Chronicles Dementia Awareness Course: Calls It a “Taste of Hell”

WatercliffThe saying that we can’t really understand another person’s experience until we’ve “walked in their shoes,” has always felt right to me. Intelligent people can be educated to the brim and be able to give excellent book advice. However, it frequently takes someone who has endured an experience similar to ours in order to make us feel thoroughly understood. This is where real hands on advice differs from advice in the abstract.

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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


Alcohol and Dementia Can Be Toxic, Complex Terrain

Aggression

Dear Carol: My husband has been a recovering alcoholic for years, but after we both retired he started having a drink here and there. It didn’t seem like a problem until he started to show symptoms of dementia. He was eventually diagnosed with mixed Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia. I’m not sure whether he forgets how much he’s had to drink or his alcoholism has caught up with him. He often becomes angry and on a couple of occasions he’s become threatening. He also falls after he’s been drinking, which is scary. I can’t get him to stop drinking or to return to his recovery meetings. I think I could care for him with his dementia at home for some time if he didn’t drink, but I’ve become afraid of him. His doctor tells him not to drink, but that does no good. He drives to the store to get alcohol and once, when the car was being fixed, he took a cab. I feel isolated, frightened and lonely. How do I handle this? DSR 

Read more on Inforum about alcoholism and 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