Category Archives: Alzheimer’s Disease and related disorders

“For Dementia Patients, Engagement Can Improve Mood And Quality Of Life” – NPR

dementia engagement“Researchers find that dementia patients who engage in activities such as gathering photographs and talking about family see improvements in their quality of life and are less agitated. – Owen Franken/Getty Images”

by Shirley S. Wang

“In nursing homes and residential facilities around the world, health care workers are increasingly asking dementia patients questions: What are your interests? How do you want to address us? What should we do to celebrate the life of a friend who has passed away?

“The questions are part of an approach to care aimed at giving people with memory loss and other cognitive problems a greater sense of control and independence. At its core is the idea that an individual with dementia should be treated as a whole person and not ‘just’ a patient.

“Scientists sometimes call this approach an ecopsychosocial intervention. The goal is to create environments that better meet patients’ psychological and emotional needs through strategies other than medication.”

Continue reading this article at NPR, click here.

“One Woman’s Slide From Middle Class to Medicaid” – The New York Times

medicare slide“Mike and Marcia Perna at their home in Dedham, Mass. Ms. Perna’s mother, Rita Sherman, died last year at age 94 after a diagnosis of dementia and five and a half years in a nursing home. Credit Erik Jacobs for The New York Times

by Ron Lieber

DEDHAM, Mass. — “A dozen or so years into retirement, Rita Sherman had plenty going for her financially.

“Recently widowed, she had a net worth of roughly $600,000 as of 1998. Her health was excellent, and she dutifully purchased a long-term care insurance policy that would cover three years of nursing home costs should she ever need help. Watching over it all was her daughter, a medical social worker, and her son-in-law, a financial planner.

“By the time she died at the age of 94 last year, however, all of the money was gone after a diagnosis of dementia and five and a half years in a nursing home. Like so many people who never see it coming, she’d gone from being financially comfortable to qualifying for Medicaid.

“This is the same Medicaid that our representatives in Washington are aiming to cut right now.”

Continue reading this article in its entirety at The New York Times.

“‘Mom, I didn’t steal your dentures’: Coping when dementia turns to delusion” –

mom“Hallucinations, delusions and paranoia are features of dementia as well as memory loss.” –

“Many people think of dementia solely as a condition that causes memory loss.

“That’s one reason family caregivers may be so surprised and upset when older relatives start having major psychiatric symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions or paranoia, even though they are common features of dementia.

“Another reason, said Linda Shumaker, a nurse who works with older adults with behavioral health problems, is that stigma has kept advocates and caregivers from talking openly about psychiatric problems that can increase stress and result in earlier placement in a nursing home.

SHUMAKER Linda Shumaker is a nurse who works with older adults with behavioral health problems.

“Shumaker, who works as outreach coordinator for the Pennsylvania Behavioral Health and Aging Coalition, a Harrisburg-based group (and a partner entity with the Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources) seeking better care for elders with mental illness and addictions, was a speaker … ”

Read this article in its entirety at – click here.


“Caregiver stress can shorten dementia patients’ lives” –


“People with dementia may actually die sooner if their family caregivers are experiencing mental stress, research shows.

“Researchers tracked the mortality of 176 patients with neurodegenerative diseases that are corrosive to brain function from 2007 to 2016. They also measured the mental health of the family members who took care of them.

“The findings, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, indicate that patients tended by caregivers with depression, anxiety, and other symptoms of mental illness typically died about 14 months sooner than those being looked after by caregivers in good mental health.”

Read this article in its entitety at, click here.

“More Than Memory: Coping With The Other Ills Of Alzheimer’s” – NPR

“many of the symptoms he experiences have clear links to the disease — things like rage, paranoia, depression and incontinence.”

alzheimers changesGreg O’Brien and his wife, Mary Catherine, recently celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary. Both say the disease has changed their marriage. – Amanda Kowalski for NPR

by Rebecca Hersher

“The first problem with the airplane bathroom was its location.

“It was March. Greg O’Brien and his wife, Mary Catherine, were flying back to Boston from Los Angeles, sitting in economy seats in the middle of the plane. ‘We’re halfway, probably over Chicago,’ Greg remembers, “and Mary Catherine said, “Go to the bathroom.”’

‘It just sounded like my mother,’ Greg says. So I said ‘no.’

“Mary Catherine persisted, urging her husband of 40 years to use the restroom. People started looking at them. ‘It was kind of funny,’ says Greg.

“Mary Catherine was more alarmed than amused.”

Read this NPR article in its entirety here.

“Health Care Planning Following a Diagnosis of Dementia” – IKOR

healthcare planning

by Zach Nelson

“Progressive forms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, allow the individual diagnosed with the disease to participate in the planning of their care. In this article, we turn our attention to the planning that should be carried out to ensure the individual’s health care needs are met, and their wishes are honored throughout the progression of the disease.

“Sound Financial Planning is the Foundation for Medical Planning

“The average life expectancy following the onset of dementia symptoms is between eight and ten years; however, … ”

To continue reading this article in its entirety at, click here.


“Severe Shortage Of Home Health Workers Robs Thousands Of Proper Care” – Kaiser Health News

caregiver shortageRenzo Viscardi (center), pictured with his parents, Anthony Viscardi and Cheryl Dougan, relies on round-the-clock care from home health aides. (Courtesy of Cheryl Dougan)

by Judith Graham

“Acute shortages of home health aides and nursing assistants are cropping up across the country, threatening care for people with serious disabilities and vulnerable older adults.

“In Minnesota and Wisconsin, nursing homes have denied admission to thousands of patients over the past year because they lack essential staff, according to local long-term care associations.

“In New York, patients living in rural areas have been injured, soiled themselves and gone without meals because paid caregivers aren’t available, according to testimony provided to the state Assembly’s health committee in February.

“In Illinois, the independence of people with severe developmental disabilities is being compromised … ”

Click here to read this Kaiser Health News article in its entirety.

Vicki Hoak, chief executive officer of the Pennsylvania Homecare Association reinforced the issues in this article in her presentation at the May 18 Lancaster County 50+ EXPO. She is the cross-training presenter at the Lebanon County Link partners’ cross-training meeting on June 2.

  • 02 June 2017 – Pennsylvania Homecare Association, Vicki Hoak and Ames Home Services, Bill Ames – This meeting will be held at Ames Home Services, 240 Hinkle Road, Annville, PA 17003.

“‘Everybody knows somebody’: This state is a laboratory for the future of Alzheimer’s in America” – STATnews

nd alzheimersBeth Olson (center), a care consultant with North Dakota’s Dementia Care Services Program, says goodbye to Jo Ormiston after a visit. Also pictured is Jo’s husband, Alan, and their daughter Barb Kram.

by Grace Rubenstein | Photos by Ann Arbor Miller for STAT

“North Dakota’s sparse geography has long made it a natural frontier: Pioneers here pushed the boundaries of westward expansion, then agriculture, and recently domestic oil drilling. Now the state finds itself on the leading edge of a new boom that it never would have chosen: Alzheimer’s disease.

“Cases are rocketing up across the United States, and especially in North Dakota, which has the country’s second highest death rate from the disease. While Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death nationally, it already ranks third here.

“‘Everybody knows somebody’ affected by the disease, said Kendra Binger, a program manager with the Alzheimer’s Association of Minnesota and North Dakota. As public awareness rises along with the numbers of cases, ‘it’s hard to ignore anymore.’”

Read this STAT news article in its entirety here.

PA 2017 Alzheimer’s Disease & related disorders regional forum on March 24

alzheimers regional forum

Here are other dates  and venues for later regional summits across the state:

State College – Centre County | March 27 – Penn Stater Conference Center, 215 Innovation Blvd, State College, PA 16803

Troy – Bradford County  | March 30 – Troy Fire Department, 88 Fire House Drive Troy, PA 16947

Lehigh Valley – Northampton County | April 11 – ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks, Bethlehem, 101 Founders Way, Bethlehem, PA 18015

Philadelphia –Philadelphia | April 12 – Ralston House Philadelphia, 3615 Chestnut St #212, Philadelphia, PA 19104


Event Timing: 10:00 – Noon

“A Playbook For Managing Problems In The Last Chapter Of Your Life” – California Healthline

Close up of senior woman's hands holding walking stickCommon reasons seniors move out of their homes include developing dementia, having a spouse fall ill or die, and not being able to keep up their homes. (iStock)

CHICAGO — “At least once a day, Dr. Lee Ann Lindquist gets an urgent phone call.

“‘Mom fell and is in the hospital,’ a concerned middle-aged son might report.

“‘Dad got lost with the car, and we need to stop him from driving,’ a distraught middle-aged daughter may explain.

“‘We don’t know what to do.’

“Lindquist, chief of geriatrics at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, wondered if people could become better prepared for such emergencies, and so she designed a research project to find out.

“The result is a unique website,, which helps older adults plan for predictable problems during what Lindquist calls the ‘last quarter of life’ — roughly, from age 75 on.”

Click here to continue reading this California Healthline article in its entirety.

visit website

Click here (or on the graphic above) to visit the PLANYOURLIFESPAN.ORG WEBSITE.