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Positive Coping Strategies Help Slow Alzheimer's

For the most part, I’ve always been a “glass half full” person. Even during very trying times, I try to find the good in what’s happening, or at least contemplate what I can learn for the negative aspects of life. After reading about a study done by Utah State University, I realize that my as a caregiver for multiple people, looking on the brighter side of life may have helped my care receivers, as well. Read more →

Lewy Body Dementia Often Confused With Alzheimer’s

When most people think of dementia they probably think of Alzheimer’s disease. Since Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, and one of the biggest risk factors for developing AD is age, new developments to combat the disease are often in the news. There are, however, other types of dementia that are just as devastating as Alzheimer’s disease and they are not necessarily rare. Read more →

Daughter Overwhelmed With Parents’ Sudden Care Needs

Dear Carol: A year ago, my mother had a heart attack. She came out of it fairly well, but still can’t do much around the house. Then, last month my dad had a stroke. I’m an only child and feel overwhelmed with all of this. Before his stroke, Dad could take care of Mom and the house. He’s now in rehab and even with therapy the specialists don’t think he’ll walk again. I’m married and have two children and a job. I guess I just feel overwhelmed. How do I go about getting our lives in order so I can help my parents and still care for my family and work? - Janet Read more →

Study Says Exercise Key to Preventing Alzheimer’s

A recent paper published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry reported on some encouraging results about the benefits of exercise. Researchers at Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan concluded exercise is something we can do right now to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. While the study was done on mice, the researchers feel strongly that people will show similar results. Read more →

Is Alzheimer’s Disease the Default Diagnosis for Confused Elders?

Alzheimer's organizations have worked diligently to raise public awareness of the disease. Their efforts are paying off handsomely. I’d challenge nearly anyone to find a friend or neighbor who hasn’t heard enough about Alzheimer’s disease to give some type of description of the symptoms. The downside of this awareness, however, is that even doctors can jump to possibly faulty conclusions when they see an elderly person showing signs of memory loss or significant confusion. Read more →

Know Your Hospitalization Codes or Risk Medicare Denial

Your mom has fallen in her home and you’re now sitting with her in the hospital. Nothing is broken, they said, but she suffered a back injury they want to monitor. They’d like to keep her in the hospital for observation. You say sure, why not? She stays several days and then is released to a rehab facility for follow-up care. Read more →

Women Caregivers Report More Health Issues Than Men

Another important issue that researchers face is that men and women tend to report caregiving differently. While there are few differences between what men and women reported when they help their spouse with activities such as bathing and dressing, there were gender differences in what was reported as "help" in other areas. In general, women may not report cooking meals, grocery shopping, and doing laundry as “helping” a mate. Most women do these things without thinking of them as out of the ordinary. Men are more apt to report this type of work as help, since for many men this is new activity. Read more →

Tips to Prevent Alzheimer’s Related Wandering

During a time when my father-in-law was ill, I sat with him while my mother-in-law went to the grocery store. This store was only a few blocks away from their home and she’d made the trip routinely for years. Only this time, she was gone so long we were worried. Once she finally returned she admitted to getting lost and having had trouble finding her way home. What happened to her is what Alzheimer’s disease experts call wandering. Read more →

Help Elders Endure Isolation Due to Flu Outbreak

DEAR CAROL: My mother is in a nursing home because of mid-stage Alzheimer’s disease and severe arthritis. While I live at a distance, my sister, Marie, lives near mom and visits several times a week. Now, with this flu outbreak, the nursing home where my mother lives has isolated residents and is not allowing visitors. Marie says Mom is very upset. Mom understands when Marie tells her on the phone why she can’t visit, but then Mom quickly forgets and calls wondering why my Marie’s not there. What can we do to make Mom feel better? - Gale Read more →