Category Archives: Alzheimer’s Disease and related disorders
“Isolation, Disruption and Confusion: Coping With Dementia During a Pandemic” – California Healthline
by Heidi de Marco
“GARDENA, Calif. — Daisy Conant, 91, thrives off routine.
“One of her favorites is reading the newspaper with her morning coffee. But, lately, the news surrounding the coronavirus pandemic has been more agitating than pleasurable. ‘We’re dropping like flies,’ she said one recent morning, throwing her hands up.
“’She gets fearful,’ explained her grandson Erik Hayhurst, 27. ‘I sort of have to pull her back and walk her through the facts.”’
“Conant hasn’t been diagnosed with dementia, but her family has a history of Alzheimer’s. She had been living independently in her home of 60 years, but Hayhurst decided to move in with her in 2018 after she showed clear signs of memory loss and fell repeatedly.
“For a while, Conant remained active, meeting up with friends and neighbors to walk around her neighborhood, attend church and visit the corner market. Hayhurst, a project management consultant, juggled caregiving with his job.
“Then COVID-19 came … ”
To continue reading this article at California Healthline, click here.
Researchers say mental health disorders explain much of the decline
Credit: Getty Images
by Susan Perry
“The American baby boomer generation is not as cognitively sharp during middle age and later in life as previous generations, according to a recent study published online in the Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences.
“The findings are ‘clear and alarming,’ say the study’s authors, for they suggest that recent declines in the incidence of dementia in the United States may soon begin to reverse. Cognitive decline can be an early warning sign of dementia.
“‘With the aging population in the United States, we were already likely to see an increase in the number of people with dementia,’ says Hui Zheng, the study’s lead author and a sociologist at Ohio State University, in a released statement. ‘But this study suggests it may be worse than we expected for decades to come.'”
Read this article at next avenue, click here.
“After 40 years, the Alzheimer’s Association sees signs of progress against a devastating disease. Is it real?” – STATNews
“KRISTEN NORMAN/ FOR STAT NEWS
by Andrew Johnson
“In 1979, a man named Jerome Stone, frustrated with the lack of options and information about Alzheimer’s disease following his wife’s diagnosis, brought together experts and families affected by dementia to launch the Alzheimer’s Association. One of their goals: find a cure for the disease.
“Forty years later, an estimated 5.8 million Americans have Alzheimer’s, with a new person developing the condition about every minute of every day. There is still no treatment that slows progression of the disease, let alone stops or reverses it. There are increasing doubts whether the prevailing theory explaining the foundation of Alzheimer’s is accurate.
“’I would have thought we’d be further along by now,’ Harry Johns, the association’s CEO, acknowledged in an interview at the group’s headquarters here.”
Yesterday’s Super Bowl featured lots of commercials, but this Google commercial stands out.
“One of the biggest standouts came from Google, which showed that its home assistance service can do more than just set reminders or timers for day to day activities. Google’s Super Bowl commercial touched on a man’s memories of his dearly departed wife and how meaningful every nuance of her was to him over the course of their marriage.
“On a car ride home, a woman thinks she is being followed, only to find an unexpected driver in the car behind her.”
[Jawahir Al-Naimi/Al Jazeera]
by Amy Doyle
“I have always tried to keep my fears a secret from my daughter. I want her to believe that I am the fierce woman I pretended to be in college. A poster on my dorm wall said, “Don’t be scared; be scary.”
“This prescription, I am learning in middle age, is limiting not just because it does not fit my particular psychology, but because it ignores the unique powers of most women. That is, we are trusted precisely because we are not scary.
“My daughter learned this lesson with me one night while we were driving 30 miles (48km) away to check out a piano we had seen on Craigslist.”
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“Signs of early-onset Alzheimer’s: When not to worry, and when to see a doctor” – The New York Times
“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.’”
“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.
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.”
“Dr. Daniel Gibbs, a neurologist in Portland, Ore., tested positive for early Alzheimer’s disease. It is ‘an ugly way to die,’ he said.” Credit … 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?”