Category Archives: Alzheimer’s Disease and related disorders

SAVE THE DATE | 2018 Alzheimer’s Disease & related diseases forum

alzheimers forum

“Genetic testing: Should I get tested for Alzheimer’s risk?” – The Conversation

memory testingA woman and her doctor discuss healthy aging.” Dennis Sabo/Shutterstock.com”

by Troy Rohn

“Thanks to advances in genetic testing, there is now a way for consumers to test for the greatest genetic risk factor for late-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive and fatal neurodegenerative disorder that primarily affects older adults. It is the most common cause of dementia. It is the third leading cause of death, behind heart disease and cancer. An estimated 700,000 Americans 65 and older will have Alzheimer’s when they die. In a recent study asking Americans age 50 or older the condition they were most afraid of, the number one fear was Alzheimer’s, with 39 percent; followed by cancer, at 30 percent.

“Clinically, patients with Alzheimer’s most commonly present with insidiously progressive memory loss, difficulty thinking and understanding and mental confusion.”

Click here to read this article at The Conversation in its entirety.

 

Dementia Specific Advance Directive: Podcast with Barak Gaster – GeriPal

In this GeriPal podcast, the interview is with Dr. Barak Gaster, Professor of Medicine and General Internist at the University of Washington in Seattle. Dr. Gaster felt like there was hole in the advance directives landscape around future planning for people with dementia. People with dementia experience a fairly common set of complications and decisions around feeding, loss of independence, and loss of ability to make complex decisions. His dementia specific advance directive has specific sections for care preferences for persons who progress through stages of dementia, including descriptions of mild, moderate, or severe dementia.

So many key points he makes in this podcast, you’ll have to read below or listen to the audio to learn more!

Two interesting notes:

  1. The directive is free to use, does not require a notary signature, and works synergistically with the POLST, Prepare, and Video decision aids.  He makes a major point about the need to “de-legalize” advance directives.  Right on.
  2. He describes how he published on the idea in JAMA, and was disappointed with the uptake.  It wasn’t until Paula Span wrote about it in the New York Times for the New Old Age (below) that downloads and uptake of the advance directive exploded.  Attention academics: it’s not enough to publish your work, you have to get the message out to the people!

fading

One Day Your Mind May Fade. At Least You’ll Have a Plan.” The New York Times

Friday Wrap-Up, June 1, 2018 | a message from the Secretary of Aging

Each week the Office of the Secretary of Pennsylvania’s Department of Aging releases a Friday newsletter with information relevant to activities, issues and events for older Pennsylvanians and persons with disabilities across the Commonwealth. Click here download the newsletter as a .pdf file.

Friday Wrap-Up, May 25, 2018 | a message from the Secretary of Aging

Each week the Office of the Secretary of Pennsylvania’s Department of Aging releases a Friday newsletter with information relevant to activities, issues and events for older Pennsylvanians and persons with disabilities across the Commonwealth. Click here download the newsletter as a .pdf file.

The newsletter announces this: “Wolf Administration Launches Pennsylvania’s Alzheimer’s State Plan Task Force”

 

“Robotics research supports aged care with cute AI animals” – WikiTribune

 

by robotics

  • As lifespans lengthen, the proportion of elderly in our populations is increasing, but how will they be supported?
  • Social robotics may take over many tasks in aged-care facilities and the home.
  • What does it say about humanity when we leave the care of our most vulnerable to machines?

“The world’s elderly population is surging, and in many countries health and home care services are already stretched. Researchers in New Zealand, with South Korean colleagues, are working on a project that suggests a different solution – robots. South Korea provides the robot-making expertise, and New Zealand the network of rest homes as testing grounds. Both countries have received funding from their governments to collaborate on health-bot projects.

“In Gisborne, on the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island, Lillian Neilson loves to sing those old songs from her youth. The staff and therapists of Selwyn Village in Auckland sometimes sing or hum along with her, turning to their phones to search for words she’s forgotten.

“‘I used to be a singer,’ she says. ‘You’ve heard of Daphne Walker [New Zealand star of the mid-20th century]? I was the young Daphne Walker.’

“But Neilson, 84, a mother of four and a former maternity nurse, doesn’t know any other Māori in the rest home, and few residents add their voices to hers.

“‘I do feel lonely, so I generally come in my room and I sing my songs. I put the telly on and sing the music that comes over.’ But Paro, a fluffy Canadian “seal” with large, fathomless eyes, provides a willing audience.”

Read this WikiTribune article in its entirety, click here.

signatures seal“Jordan Hall (left) and Victoria Warfel hold one of the therapeutic robotic harp seals.” – Lititz Record

SPECIAL NOTE: Robotic “Harp seals” are living at Signature Senior Living – Lancaster and Signature Senior Living – Lititz.

This December 2016 Lititz Record article about the grand opening a Signature Senior Living – Lititz included this about the robotic harp seals.

” … the hit of the open house were the PARO robotic harp seals. Jordan Hall, assistant director of the Lancaster facility, and Victoria Warfel RN, wellness director of the Lititz facility, explained the seals to interested guests. Warfel said that the seals are used in the memory support area. Seymour is the Lititz facility’s seal, while the Lancaster facility’s seal is named Lucy. Each robotic seal can recognize its name and residents’ voices as well as tone of voice. It and responds to being petted, cuddled and talked to and reproduces the sounds that a real harp seal makes in various situations.

“‘Harp seals were chosen because people don’t have expectations of a harp seal. If it were a cat or dog, people expect them to act in a certain way, and some people are allergic to cats and dogs or may be fearful of dogs. The harp seal can be whatever people want it to be, and it’s proven to reduce stress in patients,’ Warfel explained, adding that there are about 100 of the robotic seals in the US.”

 

 

“More Than A Job: Home Care For A Mom With Alzheimer’s Disease” – NPR

care

Celina Raddatz and her mother, Guadalupe Pena Villegas, at home in California. Xavier Vasquez/NPR

by Franziska Monahan

“Celina Raddatz quit her job at a nursing home in 2014 when she realized she would have to take care of her mother full-time. Raddatz’s mother, Guadalupe Pena Villegas, 83, suffers from Alzheimer’s and bipolar disorder, a combination that sometimes makes her a danger to herself and others, and thus requires her to be supervised 24 hours a day.

“Raddatz and one of her sisters, Rosalia Lizarraga, 61, had been caring for their mother together. But as the Alzheimer’s progressed, the task became too stressful for Lizarraga. The full responsibility fell on Raddatz, who was determined to fulfill a promise she and her siblings had made their mother as children.

“‘When my mother was sane, she made us promise never to put her in a nursing home. And of course, us young kids said, “OK, mom we would never …” Raddatz says. ‘But we never ever once ever thought that she would get sick like this.’”

Click here to continue reading this NPR article.

“How bankers and doctors can collaborate to detect ‘early warnings’ of Alzheimer’s” – STAT

Close-up woman standing and holding the wallet empty of moneyAPStock

by Jason Karlawish

Banking and medicine have little in common. One is for creating and managing wealth, the other for managing health. Yet together they could help detect and fight the growing burden of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. I call this partnership of banking and medicine whealthcare.

“Thanks to decades-long advances in personal and public health, the average 65-year-old American can expect to live another 19 years. This remarkable progress presents a challenge: Many people might not have enough money to live that long.

“The monthly pension check has gone the way of the electric typewriter and calculator. Retirement funds, if we have any — half of American families have saved less than $5,000 for retirement — are ours to manage, and we really need that cash to pay for our living expenses and most of our long-term care. Aging Americans are also taking on more debt, such as their children’s and grandchildren’s student loans.”

Keep reading this article at STATnews, click here.

“Alzheimer’s Disease: Time to Take a Closer Look” – Geriatric Nursing

“Everyone misplaces things now and then; all of us forget names, to our embarrassment. Occasionally we feel out of sorts and moody and can act out of character. For someone with Alzheimer’s disease, however, these behaviors occur much frequently; they become symptoms of a growing problem, one that can’t be fixed by a good night’s sleep or a relaxing vacation.

“Alzheimer’s disease is devastating – both to the one who is suffering with it and to their loved ones who stand by helplessly and watch. Most of us have been touched in some way by Alzheimer’s – a family member or a friend has been stricken with it – but what really is Alzheimer’s disease? Where does it come from? What can be done about it?

“Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disorder … ” Click here to read more at Geriatric Nursing.org.

Alzheimers-Disease-1-1

“Dementia caregivers | Juggling, delaying, and looking forward Family caregivers play a vital role in providing support to older adults living with dementia and other cognitive impairments.” – University of Michigan National Poll on Aging

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ANN ARBOR, MI – “They don’t get pay, recognition, or much of a break. They spend hours a day helping someone who may not even recognize them anymore.

“Now, a new poll gives a glimpse into the lives of the spouses, grown children and other family members and friends who act as caregivers for up to five million Americans with dementia.

“The strain of providing such care for loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease and other conditions came through in the latest results from the National Poll on Healthy Aging, with 78 percent saying caregiving was stressful.

“But the poll also reveals the positive side of caregiving, with 85 percent of family caregivers calling it a rewarding experience. In fact, 45 percent rated it as ‘very rewarding’, compared to 19 percent who called it ‘very stressful’. However, 40 percent of those who called dementia caregiving very stressful also said it was not rewarding.

“Another potential benefit? Perspective. Ninety-one percent of the caregivers said they had thought about their own future care needs because of their experience taking care of someone with dementia.”

Click here to read the article in its entirety and to download the full report.