Living with Alzheimer’s Disease
Your life will change as the disease progresses, but you can still have a meaningful and productive life.
What Caregivers Can Do for Themselves
If you're a caregiver of a family member and find that the stress and strain of caregiving is taking a toll on your physical and mental health, you can take many steps to reducing health risks. Whatever step you take first toward managing long-term stress doesn't matter. What is important is taking that first step. The next step will be easier and so on.
NPR’s Barbara J. King shares the gratitude she’s found while caring for her mother with dementia at http://www.npr.org/blogs/13.7/2011/12/08/143215746/joining-the-dementia-network-and-finding-gratitude?sc=fb&cc=fp.
What Gratitude Have You Found?
Whether you are suffering from dementia or know a loved one who is, share your thoughts of gratitude with us. In what ways are you becoming more thankful?
Parkinson’s disease patients may soon have new treatment options available after scientists made a mathematical model of the human brain.
The findings could make stimulation and treatment of the deeper neurons of the brain a feasible option for sufferers within the next ten years.
Doctors at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis’s School of Science mapped the brain’s neural layout and they hope this model will lead to theories regarding the misfiring nerve activity in the brains of Parkinson’s patients.
“With this new modelling we, and others, can now better study the mechanisms of information transmission in the Parkinsonian brain – both how the mechanisms work and how they fail,” said Dr Leonid Rubchinsky, associate professor of mathematical sciences at the school.
Parkinson’s UK states the disease affects around one in every 500 people in the UK. There is currently no cure and available treatment focuses on alleviating the patient’s symptoms.
Israeli neurologists have developed a breakthrough electromagnetic device that may help reverse Alzheimer’s Disease. The NeuroAD stimulates the brain with non-invasive electromagnetic stimulation to improve cognition and decision-making in Alzheimer’s patients. When used in conjunction with medicine, the NeuroAD has shown measurable cognitive improvement in patients.
“The idea comes from an understanding of how Alzheimer’s surrounds cortical regions of the brain, moving from one area to another,” Baror tells ISRAEL21c. “We identified some regions more responsible for decline, and then came the idea for enhancing LTP, which is responsible for memory and learning, and degrades in Alzheimer’s disease.”
Trials in the US are set to start next year and if all goes well, the NeuroAD will go on the market here. Baror cannot yet predict the pricing of the made-in-Israel machine, but “our goal is to make it very affordable for all patients,” he says.
Although they are often used interchangeably, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are two different medical concepts. To understand the difference between these two, it is important to compare them based on the time they strike, symptoms and definition.
What is Dementia?
Dementia is a medical term that refers to the gradual loss of intellectual function which strikes a person after the age of 70. Symptoms of dementia include increased language difficulties, decreased motor skills, failure to identify objects, and inability to plan or think abstractly. Multi-Infarct Dementia (MID) is a condition that attacks the blood vessels in the brain. Its symptoms – wandering and getting lost in familiar areas, short term memory lost, loss of bladder and bowel control and inappropriate emotional outburst – are very similar to Alzheimer’s disease.
What is Alzheimer’s Disease?
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia which is characterized by the gradual loss of various mental functions that hits a person as early as 45 years old. But Alzheimer’s disease is much more than forgetfulness or memory loss. It is more severe, more serious, and at times, more dangerous, because a person with Alzheimer’s disease can sometimes forget the name of a person he or she has known for decades.
Better Living Health Care offers assistance for patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s living in the areas of Sacramento County, Contra Costa County and Alameda County. We provide quality caregivers and more independence than expensive assisted facilities. To know more about BLHC, please contact us today.
Dealing with Alzheimer’s and dementia is not an easy thing to do, especially if you are a child of a parent who is undergoing one of these diseases. Indeed, it is a tough time. However, you must not feel like it is the end of the world. Many Alzheimer’s support groups and care agencies, such as Better Living Home Care, are able to lend you and your parent the assistance and care you need to manage this phase of your life.
If you or someone you know is going through a challenging moment like this, you must know that there are various resources and advice you can receive from people who are going through the same stage. A good first stop is Berkeley Parents Network, an email-forum website where parents from all over Berkeley, California get together to discuss about certain issues ranging from social, domestic, career, health and safety issues.
Berkeley Parents Network has a special page on Caring for Parents with Alzheimer’s and Dementia. On this page, people who are children of parents with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease talk about their experiences and share them with others who have gone through or are going through the same phase. In return, they are given advice and helpful resources where they can receive more help and support from concerned groups.
Although there are various options for you to consider when taking care for a parent with Alzheimer ’s disease, no other institution can provide you the benefits that Better Living Home Care and our quality caregivers can. If you are living in California cities such as Sacramento, Vallejo, Berkeley, Vacaville and Concord, we invite you to contact us so we can discuss many options that BLHC can offer you.
For families of individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease in California cities such as Alameda, Contra Costa, San Ramon, Vallejo and Walnut Creek, having a reliable people or group of people to look after their loved one is a true blessing. For these families, no one can better provide complete care for their loved one than someone who has been trained to provide the right amount of care.
As a concerned family member, friend, caregiver or volunteer, it is very important that you are well-informed about recent developments of the disease, available research findings, care, treatment and cure, and other relevant information. Alzheimer’s Association, the biggest national organization that’s armed with an advocacy of fighting Alzheimer’s Disease, released the 2011 Facts and Figures which contains a 68 pages of relevant statistical information on Alzheimer’s Disease.
According to the special report, it aims to focus on the benefits and challenges of early detection and diagnosis of the disease. Some information available in the report are:
- Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common type of dementia.
- Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States, and the 5th for those aged 65 and older.
- 1 of 8 older Americans has Alzheimer’s Disease.
- There is an estimated 5.4 million people who have Alzheimer’s Disease
- There are nearly 15 million Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers, and 17 billion hours of unpaid work or $202 billion.
- Someone in America develops the disease every 69 seconds.
- By 2050, someone in America will develop Alzheimer’s every 33 seconds.
In the state of California, including Alameda, Contra Costa and Sacramento, the projected total number of people with Alzheimer’s by 2025 could be up to 660,000, making it the state with the most number of individuals who has the disease now through the next 15 years.
If you are living in the cities mentioned above, and in other cities like Roseville, Sacramento, Vacaville, Vallejo and Citrus Heights, you must know that Better Living Home Care is the agency you can trust on to provide the physical and emotional care your loved one needs. To know more about BLHC, contact us today and we can discuss the great offers we have for you.
Amidst a time when more and more elders are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, one national event brings all family, friends, caregivers and other concerned citizens together to support the fight against this loathsome disease.
The Alzheimer’s Association’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s is an annual event that started in 1989 and has since raised a hefty $300 million, which all went to the funding of research for the treatment and cure of Alzheimer’s as well as support for those who are infected with the disease.
During this event, thousands of walkers from all over the country go to this part of the US to walk along Northern California and Northern Nevada, and take part in raising money for more treatment research.
This year, Walk to End Alzheimer’s 2011 is determined to raise at least $2.6 million and help the Association fulfill its goals and duties. Eleven walks through September 24 and October 22 have been planned in San Francisco, Reno and Sparks, Aptos and Santa Cruz, Sacramento, Chico, Wine Country, Silicon Valley, Monterey, Redding, Fresno and Modesto
The Walk itself is jam-packed with activities including a scenic 3-mile long route and 1.5 mile short route, a music entertainment for the family, play areas for the kids and kids-at-heart, remembrance areas, and lots of food and beverage. As highlight of the charitable event, the Alzheimer’s Association also conducts information drives on programs, services of the Association as well that of Corporate Sponsors.
Prior to the walk, Alzheimer’s Association also helps participants as they raise funds. Walk staff members offer great fundraising ideas to push participants and boost their fundraising potentials. Some tools to get started are matching gifts, fundraising toolkit, and the contribution tracking form.
Finally, for individuals who decide to form a team to work together and be more effective, a Team Toolkit is available.
Choose a Walk Near You:
|San Francisco||Saturday, September 24||Mission Creek Park, Mission Bay, San Francisco|
|Reno/Sparks||Saturday, September 24||Sparks Marina, Sparks|
|Aptos/Santa Cruz||Saturday, September 24||Seascape Resort and Park, Aptos|
|Sacramento||Saturday, October 1||State Capitol (South Steps), Sacramento|
|Chico||Saturday, October 1||Bidwell Park (One Mile BBQ Area), Chico|
|Wine Country||Saturday, October 15||Shollenberger Park, Petaluma|
|Silicon Valley||Saturday, October 15||Arena Green, Downtown San Jose|
|Monterey||Saturday, October 15||Custom House Plaza, Monterey|
|Redding||Saturday, October 22||Convention Center/Turtle Bay|
|Fresno||Saturday, October 22||Copper River Ranch Park/Eaton Trail, Fresno|
|Modesto||Saturday, October 22||Gracaeda Park, Downtown Modesto|
About Alzheimer’s Association
The Alzheimer’s Association is the first and biggest national Fight against Alzheimer’s advocacy group in the country. Some of the Association’s tasks include providing information on care strategies, research, and advocacy initiatives. The Chapter Headquarters for Northern California and Northern Nevada is located in Mountain View, CA. The National Headquarters, meanwhile, is situated in Chicago, IL.
Are you an athlete living in California? If you are from Alameda, Contra Costa, Sacramento, or other parts of Northern California and are an advocate of Alzheimer’s Association’s vision of “A world without Alzheimer’s,” then A Better Living Home Care would like to encourage you to take part in the momentous event called ALZ Stars.
Alzheimer’s Association has launched a half-marathon event for a cause where athletes are challenged to run or walk 13.1 miles along West Santa Clara St., and Almaden Blvd. The 2011 San Jose Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon event titled, “13.1 Miles Fueled by Hope,” will be held on Sunday, October 2, 2011 at 8 in the morning.
Established to increase awareness, inform, and inspire others to take action in finding preventive methods, treatments, and a cure of Alzheimer’s Disease, the event features a marathon program wherein interested runners are asked to register to be a member of the ALZ Stars.
As ALZ Stars vision is a world without Alzheimer’s Disease, this event features not only running enthusiasts but also advocates and volunteers to fight Alzheimer’s. For a minimum ALZ Stars Fundraising amount of $1,500 per person, the member will receive an ALZ Stars training shirt; an ALZ Stars race day singlet; the member’s own custom online fundraising webpage, with guidance, and online support tools to meet fundraising goals; an opportunity to train with ALZ running coach; an organized training schedule provided by ALZ; a pre-event dinner; and a group of runners who will inspire each member and drive him or her towards reaching physical and fundraising goals.
Meanwhile, donating for a participant is easy. On the Sponsor Participant Page, the sponsor may type in the name of the participant and make a pledge.
Get the word out and pass this blog page along to friends and family!
Alzheimer’s Association is a leader in research, care and support for the Alzheimer’s Disease. It is one of the first and largest voluntary health organization with National Headquarters located in Chicago, Illinois, and the Chapter Headquarters in Northern California and Northern Nevada.
“The guidelines, released today by the Alzheimer’s Association and the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and published online in Alzheimer’s & Dementia, reflect the growing understanding that the neurological damage of Alzheimer’s begins years, even decades, before symptoms appear and that future treatments will probably work best when started as early as possible…Read More“
As researchers continue to learn more about Alzheimer’s, its causes and preventions, there is still time for you to delay Alzheimer’s disease or possibly prevent it all together. To reducing Alzheimer’s risks or delay further degeneration of the brain, scientists suggest sharpening your memory, stimulating your mind, and uplifting your mood.
Prevent or Delay Alzheimer’s Disease by
Practicing these Six Strategies:
1.) Get plenty of exercise. Did you know that obesity in midlife makes you 3 1/2 times more likely to experience Alzheimer’s? According to Mayo Clinic, exercise may have the most impact on Alzheimer’s disease. Just five 30 min. workouts per week can reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s by 35%. On top of regular exercise, keeping an active lifestyle…gardening, house cleaning, taking the stairs, can greatly improve cognition. Be on the look out for any opportunities to be active.
2.) Eat a Brain-Healthy Diet. One of the effects of Alzheimer’s disease is injured neurons caused by inflammation and insulin resistance. Consuming foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as nuts, fish and whole grains can prevent and delay the onset of alzheimer’s disease. Eat several meals throughout the day to maintain insulin and blood sugar levels. Make sure those meals consist of fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains. Drink green tea, white tea, and oolong teas as these healthy drinks hinder the activity of two enzymes in the brain associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
3.) Exercise Your Brain. One of the best ways to protect a brain is to engage it in stimulating activities, make it learn something new everyday, and have it perform multiple tasks. According to the 2008 Wall Street Journal review “Neurobics and Other Brain Boosters,” an active, stimulated brain reduces your odds of developing Alzheimer’s.
So how can you exercise your brain? Set aside time each day to learn something new: learn a new language, take up a new hobby, play a new game, go back to school. The greater the challenge the more reserves you can build up in your brain. Practice memorization: recite poems from memory, memorize the capitals of states, play memory games with friends and family. The more memory connections your brain makes, the stronger its defense against Alzheimer’s. Solve riddles and work puzzles: brain teasers and strategy games that use both sides of your brain (logic and language / art and creative) are great mental exercise. Vary your habits to create new brain pathways by taking a new route home, eating with your other hand, rearranging your furniture are all great ways to create new brain pathways. Finally, pretend your an investigator and keep a diary of the Who, What, When, Where, and Why that occurs in your daily life. By capturing visual details you’ll keep those neurons firing.
4.) Sleep Well. Sleep can restore memory. According to memory experts Dr. Andrew Weil and Dr. Gary Small, poor sleep can significantly damage your brain and central nervous system. Your brain needs regular, restful sleep to recall information the next day. So learn how to quiet inner chatter when you slip in between the sheets. If you sleep with someone who snores or you snore to point of waking yourself up each night, take measures to reduce the sound of snoring. Use white noise machines to help you block out other distracting noises. Take a warm bath or shower before bedtime to relax the body.
5.) Manage Your Stress. According to USC’s Dr. Vincent Fortanasce, lifelong stress can double or quadruple your chances of Alzheimer’s disease, yet simple daily tools can minimize its effects. The harmful stress hormone cortisolhampers nerve cell growth and connection and accelerates cognitive decline, premature aging, depression, diabetes, and other assaults on your brain. Nourish inner peace by thinking positive thoughts. Practice breathing techniques that help reduce stress levels. Schedule relaxation into your daily routine with activities such as going for a walk, practicing guided visualizations, or taking a yoga or Tai-chi class. Just 20 min. per day of relaxation will do wonders for your brain and overall health.
6.) Protect Your Brain. The obvious visual you may be getting right about now may involve a helmet and, to be honest, a helmet may be a smart investment. This is especially true if you lead an active life, play interactive games like soccer or boxing. But there are other ways to protect your brain that may be less obvious. Avoiding toxins such as tobacco smoking and alcohol can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s by nearly 70%. And last but not least, avoid exposure to environmental contaminants such as pesticides and mold.
By practicing these six strategies daily, you will empower neurons, create new brain pathways, and prevent or delay the tragic onset of Alzheimer’s disease.