Friday, October 24, 2014

Staying Connected with Mom

Staying connected with Mom may have begun as an obligation but it is now one of the great joys of my life.

By Marilyn Raichle
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Alzheimer's World Love

I walked out of my mother’s room in Assisted Living, counted to three and realized that, inside the comfort of her room, Mom had no memory of my having been there.

“So why visit?” I hear people say. “She won’t remember you anyway.”

Is that true?

The research tells us that a pleasant experience releases endorphins that have a positive effect on a person with dementia even after the experience is forgotten.

Reason enough—but for me the answer is more personal. I know it makes a difference.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Can Anesthesia Trigger Dementia or Memory Loss

There can be little doubt that the use of anesthesia with dementia patients is controversial. Thousands of readers of the Alzheimer's Reading Room believe anesthesia worsened dementia, and caused greater memory loss.

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Can Anesthesia Trigger Dementia or Memory Loss

The ongoing debate about the potential effects of anesthesia on persons living with dementia rages on.

Here on the Alzheimer's Reading Room we have had thousands of caregivers over the years comment that their loved one did poorly after surgery. Sometimes the state of dementia worsens and then comes back, sometimes it does not.

Sometimes short term memory worsens and over times comes back, often it does not.

There are three main issues right now:
  • How does anesthesia effect persons living with dementia?
  • How does anesthesia effect people who have cardiac surgery, hypertension and diabetes?
  • And importantly, how does anesthesia effect people who are predisposed to dementia?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Alive Inside - Find Your Songs

Meaningful music has a place in our caregiving strategies, and can often becomes active expression and conduit of our love.

By Pamela R. Kelley
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Forget Me Not
Forget Me Not
The State Flower of Alaska
My mother, Audrey, had a famously tin ear. She’d be the first to tell you that she couldn't carry a tune in a bucket. But she liked to sing, nonetheless. So when we began our partnership through the last five years of her life, we made a habit of singing every day.

Four songs. That was it. At any point in the day, if I heard Audrey hum a note in her distracted way, I would catch her eye and hold her glance and ask her,

“Do you want to sing with me?” 

These were our songs: Let Me Call You Sweetheart. Oh What A Beautiful Morning. My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean and You Are My Sunshine.

Do Brain Games Really Help Prevent Dementia?

The explosion of individuals with dementia brain draining disorders like Alzheimer’s, has created an over abundance of resources targeted at improving one’s mind.

By Elaine C Pereira
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Do Brain Games Really Help Prevent Dementia

The implied proposition of course, is that challenging your brain through visual, spatial and related problem-solving exercises will stall or maybe even arrest dementia.

But do they?

Like far too many people, I know first hand the ravages of Alzheimer’s. My mother died of the disease in 2011 and she often referred to her “Aunt Elizabeth” has having succumb to “senility, but probably Alzheimer’s”. I never met my great aunt Elizabeth but clearly AD “runs in the family.”

Given my gene pool is probably tainted with documented cases of Alzheimer’s, I’m out to explore every reasonable approach to fighting back! So I thought I’d check a few out “brain games.”

My experiences are just that, my personal experience with no research validity. But as an Occupational Therapist with a strong neurological background, I’m qualified to at least render a professional opinion.