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Paranoia, financial issues cause extra stress for spouse

Dear Carol: My husband, 66, has Parkinson's and moderate Alzheimer's. For the past few years he has accused me of stealing things that he later finds. Now, he’s accused me of damaging some of his personal items. He also has other symptoms of AD, including memory loss, not remembering what items are for, and not being able to remember how to get to his destination. He has isolated me from people, as he’s always suspicious. Read more →

Why does an early diagnosis matter if you have Alzheimer's?

It's human to want to avoid bad news. When the bad news may be that you or a loved one has an incurable disease, especially Alzheimer's, people often say they'd rather not know. But these days, there are medications that can be prescribed in the early stages of the disease that help many people put off the worst symptoms for months or even years. Denial and avoidance are not advised when dementia is suspected. Read more →

Elders, love and sex: what are their rights?

And that, of course, is the issue. With people living longer in assisted living and nursing homes, more romances among elders are blossoming. Just what does the home allow these folks to do? How intimate can they get without getting into trouble with administration and families? What are their rights as adults? Read more →

Bathing issues when a loved one has Alzhiemer's or other dementia

If your elder has dementia, then you may have a more difficult situation on your hands. People can think they have just showered, but in reality that was last week. Or, they can become confused when they begin the process, and rather than tell someone they are confused, they just avoid it. Or they can become afraid of the shower or bath because they don't know what it's all about or they think they will get hurt. Read more →

Pilot study shows that nasal insulin may slow or even stop the progression of AD

Previously, I wrote a post about a researcher in Scotland who was studying the link between diabetes and Alzheimer’s and realized anti-diabetes drugs could play a vital role in treating Alzheimer’s. The professor, Susan Schweiger is now studying Metformin–a popular diabetes-treating drug–to see if it has any success in slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s. Read more →

Technology and elder care: the good, the bad and the robots?

The wide world of technology has dug many inroads into elder care. Signals to alert caregivers of a wondering elder, personal alarm systems that allow many elders to stay at home longer, even cameras to track whether or not elders have fallen, eaten or taken medications, are available. I'm all for most of it. However, there are ethical considerations in all of this. When are we, in the name of good care, being more invasive than we need to be? And when are we, out of selfishness, replacing loving hands with cold technology? Read more →

How to cope when a loved one has Alzheimer’s and a second serious disease

Dear Carol: My mom was recently diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease). She has mid-to late stage Alzheimer’s disease. Mom saw several doctors, but it took a long time to diagnose her ALS. Meanwhile she’s lost most of her muscle control and can scarcely communicate. I know there are devices and medical interventions to help people with ALS, but because of her dementia, it's hard to convince her of the need to have treatment or use helpful devices Read more →

Most of us know a version of the saying that while we are busy planning our lives, life happens. We’re aware, at least as we mature, that our Plan A hasn’t happened and likely won’t. A version of Plan B may be happening, but again, it’s likely that even Plan B is different than what we thought it could be. Read more →