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Pilot Program Brings Mental Health Care to Some Elders at Home

. CaregiverWoman1..Some of that caregiver burden stems from battling to get the caregiver’s loved one bathed, dressed, and transported to medical appointments. To have the option of a house call from a medical professional is only a dream for most caregivers and their care receivers, but this small miracle is actually occurring for some fortunate people through a pilot program called Insights.

Read the full article on HealthCentral about how Insights can grow to help more people in their homes:

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Flu Season: Remember That Flu Can Kill Older Adults

Medications8Flu 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. 

**Q. Martie, what steps should be taken short of hibernation to avoid getting the flu in the first place?  

Read full article on HealthCentral about the flu season and what you can do to help your elderly loved one:

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Many Common Drugs Have Surprising Mental Side Effects

Medical_tablets_01_hd_pictures_168382Many 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 over-the-counter drugs used for sleep and allergies are anticholinergic drugs as well, a fact that’s been well publicized. A recent article on Forbes.com spotlighted OTC drugs with these anticholinergic properties because they are so prevalent. The article states that researchers have yet to prove that anticholinergic drugs actually cause Alzheimer’s. Yet, there is a link that can’t be denied.

Read full article on HealthCentral about how common drugs can cause serious problems down the road:

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Aromatherapy Shown to be Safe and Effective for People With Alzheimer's

HerbalTreatmentsAlzheimer’s disease can’t be cured. There are medications that help slow the development of symptoms for some people, but the type of care that seems to help most people with Alzheimer’s is hands-on attention. This often means that caregivers need to use a toolbox approach to providing care. Thus, opening our minds to ancient medicine can give us additional options. One ancient technique that’s been studied by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the use of aromatherapy. The NIH abstract on aromatherapy reports that the trial consisted of having subjects inhale the fragrance of rosemary and lemon essential oils in the morning, and lavender and orange essential oils in the evening.

Read full article on HealthCentral about studies showing that aromatherapy helps many with AD:

Support a caregiver or jump start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders of Minding Our Elders e-mail Carol

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Is Our Youth-Obsessed Culture Making You Old Before Your Time?

Family2Look young Feel young! Think young! The constant barrage of information about how being forever young is the only desirable way to live is enough to make even a young person feel old. Now researchers have shown that this ageism is potentially harmful to one’s cognitive abilities over the long term. A study led by Becca R. Levy, PhD of Yale University and her colleagues has shown that our memory is actually shaped by age stereotypes. In other words, if you are ageist in your thinking, adhering to stereotypical images of older people as bumbling, forgetful, annoying people who are going “downhill,”  your memory will likely age in accordance with the stereotypes that you carry.

Read full article on HealthCentral about how being obsessive about youth can make you old:

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Minding Our Elders lets you know that you are not alone, that you are not going to be perfect, but you can get the job done, You do the best you can, and that is good enough. We can't be Carol, but we can learn from her going before us. What a friend to have. What a gift she gave us. – CM Jones


Alzheimer's: Leaky Blood-Brain Barrier One More Step in Understanding Development of Disease

Brain12The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a collection of cells and cellular components that line the walls of blood vessels in the brain. This barrier is an important part of brain health because it separates the brain from circulating blood. A study led by Walter H. Backes, Ph.D., a professor in medical physics at Maastricht University Medical Center in the Netherlands, has found that the blood-brain barrier was leakier in a group of people with Alzheimer’s disease than in those without the disease. This new information could add to the accumulation of evidence that early detection of Alzheimer’s is the key to defeating it. In fact, most of the drugs now going through trails need to be taken in the pre-symptom stage of the disease in order to be effective. The goal is to one day be able to start interventions early enough to stop or reverse damage from the disease before symptoms start.

Read full article on HealthCentral about the new information on BBB that could help end Alzheimer's:

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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


Alzheimer's: Is Forgetfulness the First Sign?

Fatherson10Millions of aging boomers wonder if their memory lapses are the result of normal aging or a sign that they are developing Alzheimer’s. There’s some basis for the worry. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 5 million people in the U.S. are living with it. One in three seniors will die with Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia.

While these statistics are scary, you shouldn’t let them cloud the reality that many of us will age normally and will not develop AD, or any other type of dementia. Certainly, we will have some memory changes as we age. Improvements in our lifestyle may help mitigate some of those. Other changes we’ll just have to live with. So what is normal memory loss and when should we worry?

Read full article on HealthCentral about the first signs of Alzheimer's and how memory figures in:

A Virtual Conference to Help You Thrive As a Caregiver – Check this out!

Support a caregiver or jump start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders of Minding Our Elders e-mail Carol


Folic Acid May Aid Elders During Heat Waves

FanHeatThe type of heat exhaustion or mild dehydration that a middle aged caregiver may feel during a heat wave is uncomfortable, but the same occurrence could be deadly for an elder. Because of the seriousness of overheating, some older people take a prescription drug that helps increase blood flow to the skin which in turn helps them cool off. Recently, Penn State researchers published information suggesting that folic acid, also known as vitamin B9, may be an inexpensive alternative for prescription drugs for the elderly during heat waves. Folic acid also increases skin blood flow and has been shown to reduce cardiovascular events, as well.

Read full article on HealthCentral about how folic acid may help your elder stay safe in extreme heat:

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Monitor Your Blood Pressure to Avoid Vascular Dementia

BloodPressureIf the risk of a stroke or heart attack doesn’t scare us into controlling our blood pressure, surely a heightened risk for vascular dementia should. While Alzheimer’s is consented by experts as the most common form of dementia, vascular dementia follows closely behind in ranking. The two mixed together are also common, so we should consider ourselves at risk for dementia unless we have a healthy vascular system.

Read full article on HealthCentral about the steps to take to avoid vascular dementia:

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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


Gene Therapy Delivered by Modified Virus Provides Hope for Alzheimer's Cure

BRain15...In continuing efforts to find a genetic route to cure Alzheimer’s, the findings of one study could revolutionize the numbers given above. This study involves a treatment that delivers a modified virus to a gene in the brain that could wipe out the damage being done by developing Alzheimer’s before any symptoms occur. The virus, which is called a lentivirus vector, is already used in gene therapy. Researchers from Imperial College London, have shown how using this modified virus to deliver a gene, known as PGC1-alpha, to the brain cells of mice destroys the progression of AD.

Read full article on HealthCentral a virus that may help the AD fight before symptoms show:

Support a caregiver or jump start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders of Minding Our Elders e-mail Carol