Category Archives: Alzheimer’s Disease and related disorders

“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

caregivers-web-graphics_02

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.

Two reports on caring for persons living with dementia and their caregivers

supporting people

Click here to read this report.

proven programsClick here to read this AARP report.

“AI spots Alzheimer’s brain changes years before symptoms emerge” – New Scientist

ai“MRI scans may help identify early signs of the disease -baranozdemir/Getty”

“Artificial intelligence can identify changes in the brains of people likely to get Alzheimer’s disease almost a decade before doctors can diagnose the disease from symptoms alone.

“The technique uses non-invasive MRI scans to identify alterations in how regions of the brain are connected.

“Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative disease that is the leading cause of dementia for the elderly, eventually leading to loss of memory and cognitive functions.

“The race is on to diagnose the disease as early as possible. Although there is no cure, drugs in development are likely to work better the earlier they are given. An early diagnosis can also allow people to start making lifestyle changes to help slow the progression of the disease.”

Click here to read this New Scientist article in its entirety.

“Are doctors recommending hospice too late?” – Futurity.com

pre-hospice

“Despite experiencing symptoms for months before the end of their lives, older adults are spending shorter periods of time in hospice.

“The finding suggests there may be a need for more attention to symptoms and disability for these elderly people—and perhaps earlier hospice admission.

“Researchers looked at information from a study of 562 people, aged 70 and older, who were not disabled when the study began but died over the following 16 years.

“Of these individuals, 244 (43.4 percent) were admitted to hospice during the last year of life. They were slightly older and more likely to have cognitive impairments (problems thinking and making decisions) than older adults who weren’t admitted to hospice.”

Read this article at Futurity.com in its entirety, click here.

Supporting People with Dementia and Their Caregivers in the Community

The Administration on Aging (AoA) within the Administration for Community Living (ACL) commissioned a supplemental issue of Generations through its National Alzheimer’s and Dementia Resource Center (NADRC) in an effort to advance the establishment and enhancement of dementia-capable home and community-based systems. It is titled Supporting People with Dementia and Their Caregivers in the Community. The Generations supplement is comprised of 18 articles authored by experts in a broad range of dementia care and advocacy topics.

This special issue is dedicated to the delivery of information on a range of topics of significance for people living with dementia and their caregivers.  Intended to put dementia care in context, this issue provides insight into evidence-based interventions, person-centered/directed dementia care, underserved and vulnerable populations, and other topics for providing effective home and community-based services.

The Generations publication is FREE.

To learn more about the work that the NADRC is doing, go to www.nadrc.acl.gov

“From Research to Standard Practice: Advancing Proven Programs to Support Family Caregivers of Persons Living with Dementia”

“This report from the AARP Public Policy Institute discusses what is known about effective programs to support family caregivers and emphasizes evidence-based programs for family caregivers of persons living with dementia. Evidence-based programs to help caregiving families are not widely available in communities. This report looks at barriers to scaling up effective programs, such as health care and social services providers’ lack of knowledge about proven caregiver supportive services. Additionally, this report: draws attention to programs that have been shown to improve one or more aspects of the quality of life of family caregivers and can be implemented in local communities; summarizes positive program outcomes; and identifies common characteristics of successful caregiver programs and services. The report provides four recommendations to ensure a broader reach and wider impact for improving the lives of family caregivers and those for whom they care.” – NASUAD Friday Update

advancing proven programs

Click on the graphic above or here to download the report.