Category Archives: Dementia

Five Lifestyle Changes that May Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

It is estimated that more than five million people in the United States have Alzheimer’s disease, which, according the National Institute on Aging, could very well triple by the year 2025. However, the amount of people that the disease affects far exceeds this millions of family members’ lives are consumed by what is often referred to as ‘the cruellest of diseases’.

Thankfully, the Obama administration has recently announced the National Alzheimer’s Plan. This initiative aims to find a cure for Alzheimer’s – or at least effective treatment by the year 2025.

In the meantime, there are a number of measures and lifestyle changes that can be taken in order which may prevent the disease from developing. The following tips have all shown promise in extensive clinical trials, but please be sure to consult a physician before making any significant changes to your diet and/or lifestyle.

Cucumin

Cucumin is a close relative of the ginger plant and can often be found a variety of curry dishes. It has been proven to help prevent the formation of alpha-synuclein proteins, which are a key contributor to the onset of Alzheimer’s. For those who aren’t a fan of curry, try adding some curcumin supplements to your diet. However, do be sure to consult your physician first, as it may interfere with certain types of medications. Those suffering from hepatitis or gall stones should be particularly careful.

Mental Stimulation

Mind-challenging activities such as crossword puzzles or Sudoku may help to slow and delay the onset of Alzheimer’s. A research institution at the University of Erlangen in Germany has also found that regular gardening and other types of woodwork have a positive impact on the brain functioning of those with Alzheimer’s disease.

Daily Walks

According to a recent BBC report, walking just one mile each day, or six miles a week, could significantly improve your odds of avoiding Alzheimer’s. Their study showed that those who walked 6 miles a week had half or less the incidence of the disease when compared to those who took little/no exercise.

Cold-water Fish

According to research carried out by the University of Maryland, the omega 3 fatty acids found in cold-water fish (salmon, tuna etc.) can reduce the amount of beta-amyloid in the blood, which is thought to be a key component of Alzheimer’s. According to the study, eating half a fillet of salmon or tuna each week can reduce the amount of beta-amyloid by 20-30%.. Vegetarians can also benefit by including almonds and walnuts in their diet.

Green Tea

A study by Newcastle University suggests that regular consumption of green tea can help in releasing enzymes which help ward off some of the key causes of Alzheimer’s.

Making changes in our diets and exercise habits can be empowering and might very well make a difference. However, experts have suggested using caution against unrealistic expectations. If you suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, or known someone who does, make sure that you are realistic about the expected changes. This said, daily exercise and mental stimulation can have a powerful positive impact on anyone’s life.

If you believe that you may be suffering from Alzheimer’s, or you are feeling the strain of caring for a family member with the disease, make sure to contact your physician straight away. It may be time to consider taking your relative to an EMI care home for further care.

 
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Coping with Dementia Affects Everyone

Caring for elderly relatives is rarely an easy experience, even for those individuals who have been doing so for many years. Every day brings with it a host of new challenges that need to be overcome, and there are often times when it seems there is nowhere to turn to for help and advice. The truth, however, is that vital guidance and informed opinion is always available on the Internet.
One of the most upsetting conditions to have to deal with is also one that is becoming increasingly common. Dementia is on the rise in the UK, and can affect anyone at almost any time. For the sufferer, it can mean immense frustration and a loss of touch with reality and the outside world, and eventually it can lead to a loss of more than just memory. In many cases, the victim ends up having to move to a care home because they simply can’t cope any longer.

In many instances of dementia, the relatives suffer more than the patient. The level of care that’s needed goes way beyond the physical needs of the victim. For example, ensuring the individual is safe from harm involves far more than simply keeping them warm and well-fed. The patient will not remember to take regular doses of medicine, for instance, so constant round the clock arrangements needs to be made and adhered to.

While there is plenty of conjecture about the reasons for the increase in dementia cases, we’re still not certain about the facts. Similarly, a cure isn’t forthcoming, either, and many agencies are conducting intensive research into the matter. So far, it seems the most we can hope to do is slow down the speed with which it develops in those unfortunate enough to suffer from it.

Relatives and friends who engage in conversation with dementia sufferers can be forgiven for the occasional loss of patience. In many cases, this can involve answering the same questions over and over again, so it doesn’t come as a surprise to discover that even the most mild-mannered person can occasionally snap. At such times, it’s important to remember that the victim thinks he or she is asking the question for the very first time.

One of the major frustrations for dementia sufferers and those around them is that as the short-term memory deteriorates, there is very little change in the long-term memory. The individual can clearly remember his or her first days at school, for example, but will fail to recall a conversation that took place in the previous ten minutes. It’s one of the many cruel aspects of this unpleasant and traumatic condition.

 

As the dementia worsens, it’s often the case that sufferers become increasingly reluctant to break from any routine. There is something comforting to them in knowing how every day is intended to pan out, and any suggestions to make a break from the norm will often be met with a look of disapproval. With this in mind, it would be prudent to take sufferers out for trips in the early stages, because they may not be so keen to go later on in life.

In the UK, the West Country is a popular location for days out, and caters for elderly visitors particularly well. It’s comforting to know that when it comes to facilities such as hotels, entertainment venues and car hire, Bournemouth is a common choice. Making the most of the latter years of a relative is an important issue, because once the dementia takes hold it will be difficult to enjoy pleasant days out again.

When speaking with a dementia sufferer, it’s often important to remain positive and upbeat during conversations. In many cases, the individual will keep asking questions because he or she needs reassurance that everything in life is alright. For example, they may constantly ask about their possessions and their finances. Maintaining an air of assurance and contentment can help them to feel better during what is a very difficult time.

For family members who are struggling to cope with the difficulties, it’s vital that as many people as possible share the burden of care. If several relatives are involved, the stress can be shared out among everyone, rather than be centred on just one or two of the closer ones. This shared responsibility makes things easier for the patient as well, and keeps their interaction with others as varied as possible.

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Five Questions to Ask Before Moving an Elderly Parent

Does your elderly parent have dementia? Here are five questions to ponder if you’re considering having mom or dad move in with the family.

As a youngster growing up in a military family, moving was commonplace in fact, we moved six times before I was 12 years old.
It’s not so familiar for my family, however. As we prepare to move our family from New Jersey to California including my JetSetGarmentBags.com business I’m faced with multiple questions.
One big one that I’m facing is whether to move my father along with our family. He suffers from dementia, and I am currently his primary caregiver. Yet I am no expert in this disease. I’m simply a loving daughter trying to do what’s best for her dad.
On one hand, I hate to leave my father. On the other, I’m concerned that he will be confused by and hostile toward the move.
My dad’s behavior can be unpredictable. Just last week, for example, he spent a week with my family, and he lashed out at my daughters for doing what kids do: run, jump and make noise. That’s why I’m carefully weighing my options on whether to move him to California.
If you’re considering a similar move with a parent suffering from dementia or another brain disease, ask yourself the following questions. I’m pondering them myself and hoping the answers will help me arrive at the right solution:

1. What kind of stress relievers will you have in place if your parent moves in with the family?

The impact on a family can be tremendous when a dementia patient moves in, especially when kids are involved. Children aren’t typically equipped for dealing with stress in the same way adults are that is, they might not volunteer their feelings.

Discuss your fears and concerns openly with your family. Be supportive of one another’s concerns. Offer your children stress release tips such as exercising regularly, spending time playing with friends and taking up new hobbies.

2. How will you discuss the move with your parent?

Don’t just uproot your mom or dad without discussing it first. Explain that you love your parent and don’t want to leave him or her alone.
Approach the discussion cheerfully; reassuring your parent that living with your family will be fun and rewarding. Remain calm and supportive even if your parent grows upset by this discussion.

3.    How will you time the move?

It’s important to move your parent when he or she is alert and calm. Morning is often best. Above all, be sure your parent is in good health when you move. Illness can cause additional stress on both your parent and your family.

4. How will you help your parent adjust to the new surroundings?

Take pictures of your parent’s current environment so you can recreate it as much as possible in the new home. Stick to your parent’s current habits for waking time, TV preferences, food likes and dislikes, activities and interests, familiar businesses and other comforts of home.

Notes Zina Paris of the Alzheimer’s Association, The change of the environment being the most critical issue, it is best to provide as many familiar things in their new environment as the old.

5.    What outside resources will you seek?

In some cases, it makes sense to seek housing for your parent outside your home if the stress on your family proves to be too great. If you find your parent snapping at the kids and unable to cope with the new living environment, seek out housing at a relative’s home or a respected assisted living facility.

The Alzheimer’s Association’s Paris recommends reaching out for help right away upon moving: The Association has many, many resources to assist families. Get enrolled with the office in the area of your new move as soon as possible.
With the right stress relievers and careful attention to your elderly parent’s needs, the entire family can survive a big move without incident. Just take things one step at a time, and remember to make time just for yourself. Before long, you and your family will be happily settled in to your new surroundings.

About the Author
JetSetGarment bags.com founder Hannah Hamilton provides expert guidance to consumers facing pivotal moments in their lives. With articles on everything from best garment bags for traveling to parents experiencing life changes to young couples preparing for their honeymoons, Hannah offers the kind of practical, real-world tips and stress relievers that help consumers avoid common hassles and save time and money. When she’s not busy tackling her move to California, she enjoys spending time with her husband and daughters, scouting out deals online and making new business connections.

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