Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Alzheimer's Dementia Caregiving -- Advice and Insight

"The ordinary arts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest." -- Thomas Moore....
By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

The Metamorphosis of This Alzheimer's Caregiver
The more I learned the more I wanted to know. I learned a great deal about Alzheimer's disease and dementia--including the science. It helped me understand a very mystifying disease. It helped me to put a frame around something that is difficult if not impossible to describe.

Communication in Alzheimer's World
Let's face it, dealing with dementia is not easy. Understanding Alzheimer's disease is not easy...

Alzheimer's World -- Two Circles Trying to Intersect
When Alzheimer's strikes communication and behavior change abruptly -- overnight. It is up to the caregiver to adjust since the person suffering from dementia is incapable of the adjustment. Understanding this need is the first big step.

Alzheimer's Caregiving Advice

Working with Dotty

By Bob DeMarco

Dorothy DeMarco
Dotty is complaining to me that her knees are hurting. This happens every day. I don't remember her ever complaining about her knees back in the days when we were going to the gym.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Reading, Engaging and Communicating with an Alzheimer's Patient (Podcast))

By Bob DeMarco

Take the extra step. Walk the extra yard. Engage. Keep on living. Don’t be afraid to try things. Do things that you have always done together. Don’t let anyone discourage you or get in your way.

Don’t let anyone discourage you or get in your way

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Popular Articles on the Alzheimer's Reading Room -- September (Top Landing Pages)

Test Your Memory (TYM) for Alzheimer's or Dementia in Five Minutes (#1 June, July, August, September)
A new cognitive test for detecting Alzheimer's disease is quicker and more accurate than many current tests, and could help diagnose early Alzheimer's, dementia, or mild cognitive impairment.
To continue reading go here.

Dementia and the Eight Types of Dementia
Dementia is a an illness that usually occurs slowly over time, and usually includes a progressive state of deterioration. The earliest signs of dementia are usually memory problems, confusion, and changes in the way a person behaves and communicates.
To continue reading go here.

Five Ways to Keep Alzheimer's Away
A recently released study showed that regular exercise is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of dementia and can help slow progression of Alzheimer's disease. Less well known is the fact that if you have a big belly in middle age the chances that you could suffer from dementia are tripled.
To continue reading go here.

The Combination of Aricept and Namenda Helps Slow the Rate of Decline in Alzheimer's Patients
"The results of this study should change the way we treat patients with Alzheimer's disease. Cholinesterase inhibitors are approved for use in mild to moderate dementia, while memantine has been approved for advanced dementia. But it looks like there is an advantage in prescribing both drugs as initial treatment."--John Growdon, MD
To continue reading go here.

A Simple Three Minute Test Can Detect the Earliest Stage of Alzheimer's Disease
The study shows that the combination of a very brief three-minute cognitive screening test, called the Mini-Cog (MC), with a Functional Activities Questionnaire (FAQ) -- administered to a family member or friend -- could accurately identify individuals with MCI and undiagnosed dementia.
To continue reading go here.

Popular articles on the Alzheimer's Reading Room

Original content Alzheimer's Reading Room

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Does Loneliness cause an Alzheimer's like Dementia ?

Loneliness may put people at risk of an Alzheimer's-like dementia.

"People who described themselves as lonely were twice as likely to develop dementia," says researcher Robert Wilson of the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.
Research suggests lonely people are at greater risk of developing dementia. Seniors who scored high on the loneliness quiz agreed with three or more of the following scenarios:
  • I experience a general sense of emptiness.
  • I miss having people around.
  • I feel like I don't have enough friends.
  • I often feel abandoned.I miss having really good friends.
Source: Robert Wilson at the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago
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Source USA Today

By Kathleen Fackelmann, USA TODAY

Loneliness may put people at risk of an Alzheimer's-like dementia, a study reported.
"People who described themselves as lonely were twice as likely to develop dementia," says researcher Robert Wilson of the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

Other studies have found that people who are unmarried and socially isolated are at higher risk for dementia, including Alzheimer's. But this study is one of the first to show a link between loneliness — or the feelings of disconnection from other people — and a higher risk of developing dementia late in life, says Laurel Coleman, a spokeswoman for the Alzheimer's Association and a geriatrician in Portland, Maine.

Wilson and his colleagues studied 823 people who were about 80 years old and had no sign of dementia at the start of the study. The team gave the recruits a loneliness quiz and tested them annually for signs of memory loss and confusion, two key signs of dementia and Alzheimer's.

During the four-year study, 76 people developed an Alzheimer's-like dementia, Wilson says. The risk of developing dementia increased about 51% for each one-point increase on the loneliness scale. People with the highest scores had 2.1 times the risk of developing dementia, a group of conditions that destroy brain cells and lead to mental confusion. Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia.

Autopsies were performed on 90 people who died during the study. The researchers found no link between loneliness and the development of the abnormal brain deposits that are the hallmark of Alzheimer's.

That finding suggests loneliness might be triggering dementia through a novel mechanism — one that doesn't lead to a brain riddled with deposits, Wilson says.

One theory is that people who are lonely over long periods of time might have higher levels of damaging stress hormones. The elevated stress hormones might lead to an accelerated aging of the brain — and perhaps to dementia, Wilson says.

Other research suggests lonely people are at risk of other health problems such as cancer and high blood pressure, says John Cacioppo of the University of Chicago. Still, he says, the new finding, which appears in February's Archives of General Psychiatry, must be verified by additional research.

The findings didn't change much when the team factored in markers of social isolation, such as infrequent participation in social events. That means that people who have a small number of good friends might be better off than those with a busy social schedule but chronic feelings of loneliness, Wilson says.

But lonely people often benefit from signing up for a new class or activity, Coleman says. Research shows that such activities might protect aging brain cells. And seniors who are out and about are more likely to make new friends, which might lessen feelings of loneliness, she says.

Bob DeMarco is an Alzheimer's caregiver and editor of the Alzheimer's Reading Room. The Alzheimer's Reading Room is the number one website on the Internet for insight into Alzheimer's disease. Bob taught at the University of Georgia, was an executive at Bear Stearns, the CEO of IP Group, and is a mentor. He has written more than 600 articles with more than 11,000 links on the Internet. Bob resides in Delray Beach, FL.

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