June is Alzheimer's Month

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Just A Guy

 Interesting Article in USA Today by Paul Singer, Friday June 12, 2015.  He starts out by saying, " For Mother's Day this year I gave my mother the gift of in home care." He continues, " This is the fifth time my wife and I have been down this road with parents/elders, and it is always a shocking reminder of how complex our health care system is and how expensive elder care can be. We also discover each time that we are simply not prepared for it. Every day begins with a new mysterious challenge that we have never before considered.

The biggest problem we face in caring for our elders is that frequently they have no diagnosis other than "getting old." And our medical system isn't built to handle that."

Indeed, each day is a challenge: it can bring frustration beyond belief, more than when the kids were lilttle and dumped chocolate ice cream on the white carpeting or wiped stickty Kool-aid enriched purple fingers on your new suit.  It can bring such joy that you without prior notice, gush tears when Mom or Dad suddently recognizes you for a fraction of a second and says, "Oh, honey, I love you,"  and then the moment is gone and you are a stranger again.  

No matter how many times. like Paul Singer, you have been down this road, it is never the same. Each person is an individual with such different needs that you wonder if THIS time, you're going to be prepared. Not very many people are prepared even going down the road multiple times.  It may seem lonely on this journey to another place with someone who is slowly fading before your eyes, but you are not alone.  According to the National Institute on Aging,  More than five million Americans currently have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's and it is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, possibley the third leading cause of death among the elderly. With these numbers of individuals affected by this insidious disease, you are not alone.  

The following is a link to the rest of Paul's story.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

June is Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month

The evidence is mounting...people can reduce their risk of cognitive decline by making key lifestyle changes. That is the conclusion of a new research summary published online in

Alzheimer's and Dementia : The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association. 

1.  Break a sweat! Engage in regular cardiovascular exercise that elevates your heart rate and increases blood flow to the brain and body. 

 2. Hit the books! Formal education in any stage of life will help reduce your risk of cognitive decline or dementia. 

 3. Butt out! Evidence shows that smoking increases risk of cognitive decline. 

 4. Follow your Heart! Risk factors for Cardiovascular disease, obesity, high blood pressure and Diabetes negatively impact your cognitive health.

 5. Heads up! Brain injury can raise your  risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Use a helmet when playing contact sports or riding a bike!

6. Fuel up right! Eat a healthy and balanced diet that is lower in fat and higher in vegetables and fruit to help reduce the risk of cognitive decline.

 7.Catch some Zzz's! Not getting enough sleep due to conditions like insomnia or sleep apnea may result in problems with memory and thinking.

 8. Take care of your mental health! Some studies link a history of depression with increased risk of cognitive decline.

 9. Buddy up! Staying socially engaged may support brain health. Pursue social activities that are meaningful to you.

 10. Stump yourself! Challenge and activate your mind. 

"While the adoption of all of these habits is important in influencing brain health, if it seems overwhelming, start with one or two changes and build on them," said Geiger. "While some changes rnay be challenging, others can be fun. Try to choose activities and foods you enjoy."

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