If the risk of a stroke or heart attack doesn’t scare you into controlling your blood pressure, surely a heightened risk for vascular dementia should. While Alzheimer’s is thought to be the most common form of dementia, vascular dementia follows closely behind in ranking. The two mixed together are also common, so consider yourself at risk for dementia unless you have a healthy vascular system.
For years the Alzheimer's Association has made good use of the catch phrase "what's good for the heart is good for the brain." As additional research is conducted in both areas, that simple phrase is proving to be solid thinking.The startling admission of notable researchers who attended the 2014 Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Copenhagen that a healthy lifestyle is, at this point, the best hope that we have to prevent or delay Alzheimer's symptoms underscores this concept. Not surprisingly, the lifestyle recommended for preventing Alzheimer’s disease is also the lifestyle that is recommended for staving off heart attacks and stroke.
Dr. 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.
Bedsores, or pressure ulcers as the professionals generally call these injuries, are a serious concern for caregivers in long-term care settings, employees in hospitals and of course, to family caregivers. People who are bedridden or spend significant time in bed or a chair and cannot shift positions on their own can be at risk. While a small, irritated area of skin does not sound like a huge concern to the average person, this minor annoyance can quickly develop into a major health problem for a person who is vulnerable.
It's a human tendency to get stuck in a rut as we carry out life's demands, and caregiving is no exception. With spring nearly upon us, it's a good time to take a fresh look at our caregiving lives to see if there are areas that need improvement or at least a fresh approach. Making pro and con lists of what is working and what is not working is an effective method of examining anything from budgets to weight loss. It can be just as effective for caregiving. Below I've provided a template for a hypothetical caregiver we'll call Ann. If you're up for a little self-reflection, Ann's list could help you jumpstart your own self-improvement project.
There are many neurological diseases that can affect people as they age. Alzheimer’s, of course, is one of the most feared because it is so well known. However, while not as common, Parkinson's disease is also prevalent. This neurological disorder affects an estimated 2 percent of people older than 65. Like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s is progressive and it involves changes in the brain that can become debilitating.
We are, for good reason, repeatedly reminded of the horrifying statistics related to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. The number of people over the age of 65 is exploding and most dementia symptoms develop as a person ages. This is fact. In no way does this article intend to distract from the need to cure all types of dementia. However, there is one thing to celebrate. Alzheimer’s rates seem to be declining.
Note: I've been alerted to what looks to be an exceptionally helpful tool for Alzheimer's caregivers and those who help these caregivers. The "Leader's Guide for Season's of Caregiving" is a product of UsAgainstAlzhiemer's Clergy Network. For full disclosure, I must say that I am honored to be a co-moderator for UsAgainstAlzheimer's. It is volunteer position. I'm passing on this information because I truly believe that the book has the potential to help many readers. Follow through if you feel that the "Leader's Guide" could help you. - Carol
The "Leader's Guide" includes simple, yet powerful guidance for structuring and leading a support group in a variety of community and faith settings. The guide was written by Dr. Richard Morgan, a distinguished founder of UsAgainstAlzheimer's Clergy Network, which supported publication of this volume. This is an important resource for families who are facing Alzheimer's, and those working to support them.
Caregivers to people with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia often have the unsettling, frustrating challenge of trying to quiet an agitated and possibly aggressive elder who is unable to communicate the source of his or her distress. We know that the behavior is an expression of discomfort either of body or mind, yet we are left trying to comfort our loved ones with few clues as to the root problem. Even experienced clinicians are often baffled.
It’s natural for caregivers to worry if their loved one is getting sufficient nourishment. People with dementia are often a challenge because they forget to eat, or they may have problems remembering how to transfer food from the plate to their mouths. Some people have trouble chewing and swallowing, especially during later stages of dementia. Since depression is another issue that is common for people with dementia, a Taiwanese addressed these issues together. The study, published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing, found that dementia patients who received individualized instructions on good eating habits had fewer symptoms of depression.