Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Risk of Dementia Can Be Modified and Lowered - World Alzheimer's Report 2014


The World Alzheimer Report 2014 reveals that over two thirds (68%) of people surveyed around the world are concerned about getting dementia in later life.

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

World Alzheimer's Report 2014

The study also reveals that control of diabetes and high blood pressure as well as measures to encourage smoking cessation and to reduce cardiovascular risk, have the potential to reduce the risk of dementia even in late-life. The report found that diabetes can increase the risk of dementia by 50%.

In essence the latest World Alzheimer's Report is telling us what is good for the heart is also good for the brain.

I understand that the predominant thought in the Alzheimer's and dementia communities is that there is really nothing you can do to prevent Alzheimer's. Fifty years ago it was widely believed there was nothing you could do to prevent a heart attack. In addition to good health practices, we now have drugs that can delay or prevent the development of cardiovascular disease.

In the sixth annual World Alzheimer's Report, for the first time, we are starting to get a clearer understanding of the cause and effect of Alzheimer's and related dementia.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Medications of Questionable Benefit Used in Alzheimer's and Dementia Treatment


Nursing home residents with advanced dementia often receive medications of questionable benefit with costly consequences.

Alzheimer's Reading Room

Medications of Questionable Benefit Used in Alzheimer's and Dementia Treatment

The study was published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine.
  • In the nationwide study of 5,406 nursing home residents with advanced dementia, researchers found the majority (54 percent) were prescribed at least one medication of questionable benefit during the 90-day observation period between 2009 and 2010. 
  • The mean 90-day expenditure for medications with questionable benefit was $816, accounting for 35 percent of total average 90-day medication expenditures for residents with advanced dementia prescribed these medications.

My Mother Has Alzheimer's and is Driving Me Crazy


I yearned for the good old days when everything was normal. When we were happy. After Alzheimer's set in, I was searching for a way to help mom to be agreeable, copacetic, good, and for the situation to be palatable for both of us.

By Bob De Marco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

My Mother Has Alzheimer's and is Driving Me Crazy


In response to the keyword search

My Mother with Alzheimer's is Driving Me Crazy

Google recommended

and



Monday, September 15, 2014

Alzheimer's and the Use of Anti-Anxiety Medications


Long term use of a class of medications commonly used to treat anxiety and sleep problems (benzodiazepines) may be linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. But that is only part of the problem, they are also commonly used to keep Alzheimer's and dementia patients under control.

By Bob De Marco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Alzheimer's and the Use of Anti-Anxiety Medications

Since we published this article last week,

Alzheimer's May Be Caused By Overuse of Pills for Anxiety and Sleep Problems,

the use of anxiety drugs, specifically a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines, and their relation to Alzheimer's disease has become both a hot topic on Google, and a Trending Topic worldwide.

This morning the issue is being covered by ever major news outlet around the world.

We have quite a bit of information on this topic in the Alzheimer's Reading Room knowledge base and I wanted to point you to a few article that might be important to you and your love one.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

William Utermohlen - A Descent Into Alzheimer's Portraits From the Mind


Self-portraits by William Utermohlen chronicled his descent into Alzheimer's over 4 decades.

William Utermohlen was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 1995. He tried to understand Alzheimer's by drawing self portraits.


William Utermohlen’s a self-portrait from 1967.
 

William Utermohlen 1996

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Mean Dementia Patient, Challenging Dementia Patient


People with dementia may sometimes behave aggressively or in a mean spirited way. This can be very distressing and disconcerting for the dementia caregiver, family, relatives and friends.

By Bob De Marco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Challenging and mean spirited behavior are common among persons living with dementia. But, I always ask the question, was the person "mean" before the onset of dementia?

The Path to Alzheimer's World

I still remember Dotty saying to me,

Get Out, I Don't Want You Here, I Can Take Care of Myself

At first and for a long time, I thought Dotty was being mean to me. However, it finally dawned on me  that she was actually trying to communicate to me how scared, confused and worried she was.

I mean really. Does it make any sense for an elderly person to tell you to "get out" when you are taking care of them 24 hours a day?  When you are providing for all their needs, and providing a safe secure environment.

No it doesn't make much sense. And, I finally learned to listen and pay attention when Dotty would get angry or challenging.

I finally learned that it was the Alzheimer's speaking and trying to send me a message.

Alzheimer's patients need to communicate, just like we need to communicate. However, Alzheimer's patients after a time cannot communicate in the way they did prior to the onset of dementia. They do they best they can but eventually it falls on us to listen and interpret their words sometimes.

When they can't find the words they sometimes "act out" to send us the message they can no longer verbalize.

Friday, September 12, 2014

6 Good Articles, Alzheimer's Quotes, and Thoughts for the Weekend


Not a day goes by that I don't read or hear about an Alzheimer's caregiver complaining about their loved one being mean.

By Bob De Marco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

My first thought? Are persons living with Alzheimer's or a related dementia inherently mean?

Not a day goes by that I don't read or hear about an Alzheimer's caregiver complaining about their loved one being mean. 

I always ask, were they mean before the onset of dementia? If they answer no, I then ask,  do you think there is any chance that their meanness is being caused by dementia.

Caregivers are often surprised at this process and thinking.

If Alzheimer's causes confusion and this in turn makes a person living with dementia mean what can you do?

I always start with this quote.

Alzheimer's Quote: Always be Kinder than You Feel

As a caregiver you should always try and remember that your love one is made of flesh and blood just like you. They are not the enemy.

Alzheimer's Quote: They are not the enemy

Thursday, September 11, 2014

3 Important Facts About Alzheimer’s Everyone Should Know


It’s on us who are more enlightened to educate those who are not, and dispel the myths of the misinformed about Alzheimer's disease and persons living with dementia.

By Elaine C. Pereira
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Purple

Increasing funding for Alzheimer’s research is crucial! Also crucial is having an accurate understanding of the facts about Alzheimer’s. No disrespect to the already well informed, but the general public needs a better knowledge base to recognize the subtle, often excused-away symptoms of dementia issues.

It’s on us who are more enlightened to educate those who are not, and dispel the myths of the misinformed.

Just as breast cancer supporters have worked tirelessly to advance research funding with their Pink ribbon campaign, Alzheimer’s awareness advocates need to make Purple the new Pink!

Maybe these basic facts will help others. Please pass them on.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Alzheimer's May Be Caused By Overuse of Pills for Anxiety and Sleep Problems


New research indicates that unwarranted long-term use of anxiety and sleep medications (benzodiazepines) should be considered a public health concern and can lead to higher risk of Alzheimer's disease.
Results show that past use of benzodiazepines for three months or more was associated with an increased risk of up to 51% for Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimer's May Be Caused By Overuse of Pills for Anxiety and Sleep Problems

Alzheimer's Reading Room
  • A team of researchers based in France and Canada set out to investigate the relationship between the risk of Alzheimer's disease and benzodiazepine exposure over a several years, as well as a potential dose-response relationship.
  • Results show that past use of benzodiazepines for three months or more was associated with an increased risk (up to 51%) of Alzheimer's disease.
  • The strength of association increased with longer exposure and with use of long-acting benzodiazepines rather than short-acting ones.
  • Researchers concluded that their findings are of "major importance for public health, especially considering the prevalence of benzodiazepine use in elderly populations and the high and increasing incidence of dementia."

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

4 Ways to Deal with Constant Questioning from a Person Living with Alzheimer's


My mom who is 80 has Alzheimer's. She has been living with me for over a year. I have an issue I could use some help with.

By Rachael Wonderlin
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Forget

Our reader KathyD asked the following question in the comments section under the article - About Alzheimer's Reading Room
My mom who is 80 has Alzheimer's. She has been living with me for over a year. I have an issue I could use some help with. 
I have 7 brothers and sisters, we all live close by. I am her primary caregiver; all day, every day she relentlessly wants to call/visit 'the rest of her kids'. She does not recall that she saw them the day before, or even hours before.

I tell her they are working and cannot take calls at work, which is the truth - but the questioning continues all day for 13 hours! Does anyone have any strategies on how to deal with this problem.

Rachael Wonderlin offers 4 suggestions on how to deal with this problem.