Category Archives: Alzheimer’s Disease and related disorders

“Signs of early-onset Alzheimer’s: When not to worry, and when to see a doctor” – The New York Times

alz.jpg“Forgetting where you parked is not reason for concern. ‘The problem is when you start forgetting that you drove your car to work that day.’”

by Elizabeth Gehrman

It’s one of our biggest fears — being gripped by a disease that slowly steals the very essence of who we are. And early-onset Alzheimer’s, defined as striking before age 65, seems even more cruel, coming as it does at what is often the height of career success, perhaps as grown children are embarking on their own exciting paths. Stories like Tom Keane’s remembrance of his late wife Laurie Farrell, who was diagnosed with the disease at just 56, resonate on a visceral level.

“It’s important to remember, however, that Alzheimer’s usually affects much older people. ‘At 56, Alzheimer’s is extremely uncommon,’ says Harvard neurology professor Reisa Sperling, director of the Center for Alzheimer Research and Treatment at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. While about 1 in 9 Americans will get Alzheimer’s disease, age is the greatest risk factor: 81 percent of patients are 75 or older, while only 3 percent — around 200,000 people in the US — are under 65. Still, it’s good to know what to watch out for, especially since, as Sperling says, Alzheimer’s ‘may go unrecognized in younger people or be misdiagnosed.’”

Continue reading this article at The New York Times, click here.

“How could my wife have Alzheimer’s? She was only 56.” – The Boston Globe Magazine

early alz 2

early alzTom Keane and Laurie Farrell in 1984, not long before they married. FROM TOM KEANE”

by Tom Keane

“It’s a Sunday morning and my wife and I are arguing about the previous night’s dinner party.

“”No one would let me talk,’ Laurie says.

“‘What do you mean? Of course they let you talk.’

“‘No. They’re all just talking constantly and I never get a chance to say anything.’

“‘But Laurie, that’s what happens at dinner parties. You’ve got eight people fueled by a lot of alcohol and they all are clamoring for the floor. That’s just the way it is.’

‘I didn’t get to speak. I hated it. Why won’t they let me speak?’

I’m puzzled. Laurie was always the life of any get-together: raucous, loud, leading the room from one topic to the next. What was going on?

Continue reading this article at The Boston Globe Magazine, click here.

 

“One man turned nursing home design on its head when he created this stunning facility.” – upworthy.com

This is a 2016 article posted here because it makes sense and is often being used.

old idea

by Brian Porter

“92-year-old Norma had a strange and heartbreaking routine.

“Every night around 5:30 p.m., she stood up and told the staff at her Ohio nursing home that she needed to leave. When they asked why, she said she needed to go home to take care of her mother. Her mom, of course, had long since passed away.

“Behavior like Norma’s is quite common for older folks suffering from Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. Walter, another man in the same assisted living facility, demanded breakfast from the staff every night around 7:30.

“Jean Makesh, CEO of Lantern assisted living facilities, says he meets folks with stories like these every day. It’s their stories that inspired him to make some changes at Lantern.

“‘I thought I knew a lot about elderly care. The more and more time I was spending with my clients, that’s when I realized, “Oh my god, I have no clue.”’

“Confusion is common in Alzheimer’s patients, but Makesh knew there had to be some way to minimize these conflicts.”

Continue reading this article, click here.


 

“Alzheimer’s Tests Soon May Be Common. Should You Get One?” – The New York Times

alz testCredit … Amanda Lucier for The New York Times

by Gina Kolata

Not long ago, the only way to know if someone had Alzheimer’s disease was to examine the brain in an autopsy.

“That is changing — and fast — with brain scans and spinal taps that can detect beta amyloid, the telltale Alzheimer’s protein.

“There is a blood test on the horizon that can detect beta amyloid, and researchers are experimenting with scans to look for another protein, called tau, also characteristic of Alzheimer’s.

“As this sort of diagnostic testing becomes widespread, more people who fear their memories are slipping will face a difficult question: Would I really want to know if I were getting Alzheimer’s disease?”

Click here to continue reading this article at The New York Times.

“‘You keep loving each other’: A window into dementia at the end of a lifelong partnership” – STATNews

you keep loving

“For Poul Mathiassen, Parkinson’s disease came as a cascade of losses. First, he could no longer control his toothbrush. Then he couldn’t remember his friends’ names. During the four years his granddaughter, photographer Sofie Mathiassen, spent chronicling his experience of dementia, she captured images of his increasing frailty but also of the 57-year relationship he’d built with his wife, Else. These moments are at once difficult and tender, a testament to the tiny, everyday actions that constitute care. Else shaves Poul, keeping him steady with a thumb and finger on the back of his neck. She helps him take a few halting steps, holding his hands as if in a careful dance. You can see more of Mathiassen’s powerful photo essay here.”

 

“New Therapies Help Patients With Dementia Cope With Depression” – The New York Times

“Many patients with cognitive impairment have anxiety or depression, but standard treatments are difficult for people with memory issues.”

dementia mental healthAnne Firmender received treatment for depression through a program called Problem Adaptation Therapy, which is specially suited to people with memory issues.” Credit … Geraldine Hope Ghelli for The New York Times

by Andrea Petersen

“Anne Firmender, 74, was working with her psychologist to come up with a list of her positive attributes.

“’I cook for others,’ said Ms. Firmender.

“’It’s giving,’ encouraged the psychologist, Dimitris Kiosses.

“”Good kids,’ continued Ms. Firmender, who has four grown children and four grandchildren.

“’And great mother,’ added Dr. Kiosses. Ms. Firmender smiled.

Dr. Kiosses typed up the list and handed a printout to Ms. Firmender to take home. ‘When you’re feeling down and hard on yourself, you can remind yourself of your strengths,’ he told her.”

Continue reading this article at The New York Times.

“For millennial caregivers, becoming the ‘parent for a parent’ with Alzheimer’s comes with agonizing challenges” – STAT news

The daily stresses, challenges and situations a caregiver attending to her mother with early onset Alzheimers faces are shown in this video.

alz caregivers

by Megan Thielking

WEYMOUTH, Mass. — Kamaria Moore-Hollis hadn’t even turned 30 when her mother, Mary, was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. She hadn’t yet started her job in social services for the state, or gotten married, or bought her house — all milestones she would mark after she became a caregiver.

“‘I grieved her loss probably five years ago,’” Moore-Hollis, now 34, said. ‘I don’t have an adult relationship with my mother. I can’t talk about frustrations at work or marriage or you know, just things that happen when you grow up.’”

Click here to read this article and to watch the nearly five minute video.

“Services Address Wandering in Those with Memory Impairment” – 50plus LIFE

wandering

by Megan Joyce 

“For caregivers of people with memory issues, keeping their loved one in a safe space — whether it’s their home or a care facility — is vital to the person’s well-being. But the reality is that 6 in 10 people with dementia will wander away from that safe space at least once.

“Someone with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia may wander as a result of agitation, confusion, anxiety, overstimulation, or the belief that they are searching for something. They may become disoriented and attempt to relive the past or revive past habits, such as going to work or returning to a familiar neighborhood.

“While wandering, the person might not recall their name or address, making it difficult for those who encounter the person to assess their needs and return them to safety.

“Clay Jacobs, vice president of programs and services for the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Pennsylvania Chapter, said anyone who has memory problems and is able to walk is at risk for wandering, even in the early stages of dementia. There are certain behaviors, however, that are red flags indicating wandering is more likely to occur.”

Continue reading this article at 50 plus LIFE in its entirety.


The publisher of 50plus LIFE, On-Line Publishers, Inc. is a Link to Aging and Disability Resource as are these entities mentioned in the article.

  • Alzheimer’s association® – Greater Pennsylvania Chapter – 706 Rothsville Road, Lititz PA 17543.  24/7 Helpline # – 1.800.272.3900 – “Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.”  Call our Helpline for resources in your area.
  • On-Line Publishers, Inc. – On-Line Publishers, Inc. has more than 15 years’ experience in serving boomers, seniors, disabled, caregivers, and their families by providing relevant information utilizing a variety of platforms. Talk to us about our print and digital editions of 50plus Senior News50plus Senior Living, and the Resource Directory for Caregivers, Aging, and Disabled, and Caregiver Solutions. Or learn more about our annual 50plus EXPOs. For more click: www.onlinepub.com.
  • The Pilot Club of Lancaster, Inc. / Project Lifesaver® – This service club works closely with the local police departments to provide Project Lifesaver; an emergency response program for individual who may wander.

50plus LIFE is an award-winning publication published monthly, providing individuals 50 and over in the Susquehanna and Delaware valleys with timely and relevant information pertinent to their needs and interests. Editions in Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, and York counties.


 

 

“Steps to Prevent Dementia May Mean Taking Actual Steps” – The New York Times

walking

“Brain-training apps can’t match the several ways that exercise benefits the mind, research shows.”

by Austin Frakt

“To ward off age-related cognitive decline, you may be tempted to turn to brain training apps. Last year, consumers spent nearly $2 billion on them, some of which claim to improve cognitive skills.

“Evidence suggests you’d be better off spending more time exercising and less time staring at your phone.

“This year the World Health Organization released evidence-based guidelines on reducing risks of cognitive decline and dementia. Although it pointed to some systematic reviews that reported positive cognitive effects of brain training, the W.H.O. judged the studies to be of low quality. Among the studies’ limitations is that they measure only short-term effects and in areas targeted by the training.”

Continue reading this article at The New York Times, click here.

“‘Please know you’re not alone’: For dementia caregivers, a place to share with strangers — and be honest” – STAT

dementiaHyacinth Empinado/STAT

“Barbara Metcalf and Mary Smallwood live 826 miles apart. They’ve never met in person. If not for a chance interaction on Facebook, they would have stayed strangers. But for months, the two women talked nearly every day, swapping stories and venting about their husbands, who both have dementia.

“Their husbands’ symptoms have manifested in particularly difficult, deeply isolating ways. They blamed their wives for their conditions. They blamed their wives for losing their jobs. They blamed their wives because they couldn’t drive anymore. They accused them of having affairs with the mailman or stealing their money. They urinated all over their houses, leaving the women cleaning for hours.

“’It was a constant battle of trying to keep him clean, keep him from having a UTI, keep his dignity, explain to him why it was all happening so he could understand it,’ Metcalf said.”

You can read this article in its entirety, click here.