Dementia - depending on the type - destroys different parts of the brain. This video from Cornell Weill Medical College Maps Dementia maps how dementia affects the brain. One of the best I've seen. Carol
Music therapy has come into its own during the last decade as caregivers, care facilities and hospice organizations have recognized the therapeutic power that music can have on ill and suffering people. This therapy has been successfully delivered by a single staff member playing a guitar for a residents’ sing-along, a specialized harpist playing for a hospice patient or downloaded playlists on iPods that can stimulate memories.
Most of us who have our own health issues or are caregivers to those who are ill are acutely aware of how insurance coverage can change from year to year. Just managing the yearly Medicare changes for our elders can be confusing, especially for the Medicare supplemental policies and for Medicare D, which is the prescription drug policy. However, many caregivers are still on their employer’s policies, or have enrolled in a policy through a state and federal market place.
Not all that long ago, when someone's grandma started acting a little “strange” she was considered senile. This deterioration of the brain was considered normal aging, even by many doctors. As Grandma's behavior got worse, she would often be hidden away from public view to avoid embarrassing the family.
Vascular dementia, which is directly tied to heart health, is considered the second most common type of dementia after Alzheimer’s disease. Considering this relationship between heart disease and dementia, I was eager to hear more about study data being presented at the annual Heart Failure Society of America meeting in Las Vegas last Tuesday. The meeting highlighted a landmark study, known as the CHAMPION study...
When a loved one receives an Alzheimer’s diagnosis the whole family is affected. For most, the first stage is utter devastation. Yet the human spirit can be incredibly resilient. After going through the grieving process, the person diagnosed with the disease and his or her loved ones most often come to accept their altered life as a new normal.
Even the most optimistic of us know that, at this time, there is no reliable way to prevent Alzheimer’s disease and there is no cure. Pharmaceutical companies have committed billions of dollars to study drug therapies that have yet to prove effective. Yes, there are more pharmaceutical approaches in the pipeline, but none of them will be available soon, and there is no guarantee that these drugs are even targeting the correct source of the disease. The bottom line is that there’s simply too little known about Alzheimer’s disease to promise an imminent solution.
The last two generations have produced far fewer children than our grandparents' generation. This translates into a lack of people who can provide care for our ever-growing aging population. Additionally, as people live longer they often need more care for a longer period of time than in the past. This includes nearly all elders; not just those with Alzheimer's.
Nearly any of us can experience a strong emotional response upon hearing the first chords of a song from a long-ago time in our lives. While many of us don’t think about this response in detail, Stan Cohen, a former social worker and technology professional did. When he discovered that nursing homes didn’t appear to be using personalized music on iPods for their residents, he decided that something had to be done about the situation.
One type of technology that I found invaluable at the time – and still do – is the personal alarm. I subscribed to a personal alarm service for my neighbor, my uncle and my mother. I can't emphasize enough how much these alarms contributed to peace of mind for my elders and for me, their caregiver. These alarms generally come in bracelet, necklace and clip-on forms, and are easy to use in an emergency. They give an elder some sense of security, without being too intrusive.