Support Feed

Many Common Drugs Have Mental Side Effects That May Contribute to Dementia

Medical_tablets_03_hd_pictures_168380Many 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 OTC drugs used for sleep and allergies are anticholinergic drugs as well, a fact that's been well publicized. 

Read more on HealthCentral about common drugs that may contribute to 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


When Does Senior Forgetfulness Need Evaluation?

  OldercoupleDear Carol: My husband and I are both in our late seventies. There have been a few times when my husband has left the stove top burner on and sometimes he leaves water running after he leaves a room. Maybe it’s more because of distraction than forgetfulness, since I know that I’ve done similar things, but how do we tell? He seems to remember names and other details as well as anyone our age. When I mention my worries to my husband he gets defensive and reminds me of small things that I’ve forgotten. I’ve read the list of possible Alzheimer’s issues online, but that didn’t help much. How do older people decide if they need to be checked out for dementia?  Linda 

Read more on Inforum about older couple wondering about memory problems:

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


Elders’ Loss of Appetite Complicated

BerriesHCAdult children often worry about their aging parents’ eating habits. Sometimes the elders live alone and don’t feel like cooking or even going out to buy groceries. They may have pain issues that keep them from enjoying food, or dentures that make chewing uncomfortable. Depression can be a factor for some people, as can medication side effects. Loneliness, especially for people who have lost a spouse to a nursing home or death, can make eating seem unimportant or unattractive.

Read more on HealthCentral about elders' appetite loss:

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


Summer Outings for Seniors and their Families

GrandfatherboyMany aging adults spend the bulk of their time just managing to get through the day. They take care of life's basics but often don't leave their home, assisted living center or nursing home, except for doctor appointments and an occasional holiday. Families and friends might like to take a senior out for some fun but they don't know how to go about it. Even seasoned caregivers can be stumped for ideas, so here are a few to get started:

Read about 10 summer outings on Agingcare:

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


Driving and Memory Loss: Tips to Help Elders Give Up Driving

CarkeysFor much of our society, the ability to get into a car and drive to a desired destination is a sign of independence. Therefore, convincing a person that he or she should no longer drive is frequently an emotional battle. Often, the longer adult children or other involved people wait to discuss driving issues with a loved one who has cognitive issues the harder it can be since advancing dementia generally involves a declining ability to make balanced decisions.

Read more on HealthCentral about driving and how to help someone give up the right to do so:

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


Depression and Dementia Challenging Combination to Manage

Medical_drugs_tablets_222894Dear Carol: My mother has had problems with mild depression all of her life but up until now she’s managed it without drugs. Mom’s now 81-years-old. A few months ago she was diagnosed with early stage dementia so her doctor put her on drugs for Alzheimer’s symptoms. After starting these drugs, Mom’s depression got worse so the same doctor prescribed an antidepressant. Now her depression is worse than ever, she’s confused, and she has nausea and digestive problems. Is this the normal course of events for someone like my mother? I’ve always liked this doctor and he’s cared for mom for years but I’m uncertain about the direction that this is going. FHM

Read full column on Inforum about dementia drugs and antidepressants for the elderly:

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


Guilt Intrinsic to Caregiving: Most Is Unearned

CaregiverStressIf ever there’s a group of people who suffer deeply from unearned guilt it’s caregivers. Whether you’re the parent of a vulnerable adult, an adult child of aging parents or the spouse of a vulnerable adult, you are bound to have your “if only” times where you are sucked into the quicksand of guilt. The reality is that most things you could have done differently wouldn’t have made a huge difference overall. Even if another approach would have made a difference, you can’t go back. Staying mired in guilt is counterproductive for you as well as your care receiver. 

Read more on HealthCentral about unearned guilt for caregivers and how to cope with it:

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


Veteran Caregiver for Multiple Elders Tells It Like It Is

Minding Our EldersIt’s been nearly a decade since I began sharing my personal caregiving stories with the public, first via the book “Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories” and later through a newspaper column, on my own blog and then contributing to major websites such as Healthcentral.com/alzheimers. When I first started sharing my stories and looking for others who had similar tales to tell, people tended to be reticent about speaking up. Now, sharing caregiver “in the trenches” stories has become a major part of caregiver self-care and even survival.

Read more on HealthCentral about lessons learned as a caregiver:

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 


Celebrating Father’s Day When Your Dad Has Dementia

FAtherSonFather's Day and my birthday always fall close together. Some years they are the same day. That always made Father's Day an extra special time in our house as I was growing up.   I was, of course, an adult and mother by the time Dad had the surgery that threw him into dementia for the following decade. However, my adulthood didn't shield me from the pain of missing "my real dad" when I'd bring Mom up to the nursing home and we brought cards and flowers.

Read more on HealthCentral about celebrating Father's day when your dad has 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

 


Is Poor Dental Health Linked to Alzheimer’s?

DentalCareDr. 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.

Read more on HealthCentral about poor dental hygiene and the brain:

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