Archive for category Research

Lack of Sleep- How It Hurts You

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We all know infants and teens need a lot of sleep, because their bodies are changing so rapidly.  But, when we consider adults, and the elderly, we often don’t associate sleep as something we “need”.  Some people are even proud- stating to others, that they only need “5 or 6” hours of sleep.

I recently read a fascinating article regarding our “catastrophic” lack of sleep, and that research shows that it is linked to a host of fatal diseases.  A professor at Berkley states that sleep deprivation affects “every aspect of our biology”.  A lack of sleep has been “linked to cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, obesity and poor mental health among other health problems”.  The article goes on to say that anything less than 7 hours of sleep is bad for our health.  Many view the need for more sleep as a trait of being lazy.  In short, the article states that a lack of sleep is killing us, and that we need to change our view of sleep and get more of it on a regular basis!

For more, read the article below.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/sleep-deprivation-epidemic-health-effects-tired-heart-disease-stroke-dementia-cancer-a7964156.html

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Teepa Snow, Leading Expert on Dementia

 

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This week, I had the opportunity to attend a work shop on dementia by one of America’s leading experts on the topic; Teepa Snow.  It was both informative, and funny as she kept our attention the entire six hours.  Below, is a clip from her site.  She has a great deal of information you can use to improve your care for those with dementia.

http://teepasnow.com/resources/teepa-tips-videos/dementia-101/

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Possible Link Between Calcium Supplements and Dementia

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According to a new study, “calcium supplements may be associated with an increased risk of dementia in older women who have had a stroke or other signs of cerebrovascular disease. The research is published in the August 17, 2016, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.”

This article goes on to explain, that the study was small and does not state that there is a direct link between calcium supplements and dementia, however it does say there may be a link and that more research needs to be completed.  For more information, see the article below.

https://www.aan.com/PressRoom/home/PressRelease/1487

 

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Hospice and the Need For Community Education

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According to this 2015 article from New York Times, federal statistics showed that “nearly half of white Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in hospice before death, compared with only a third of black patients”.  The article said that black Americans are far more likely than white Americans to choose life-sustaining interventions.

Black Americans tended to have more mistrust for the medical community and a lack of education as to the benefits of hospice care.  In this regard, it is imperative for hospice workers to reach out to this community through education (Hospice 101) and the sharing of how the program has positively impacted the lives of African-Americans in particular.

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/08/25/health/a-racial-gap-in-attitudes-toward-hospice-care.html

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Breathing Through Nose- Better for Memory

A study has recently shown that memory is improved when you breathe through your nose.  Participants in a study were given new information to remember and it was found that when inhaling through the nose, the information was recalled at higher rate.  See article below.edward-lear-1823489_1280

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/314616.php

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Hasbro’s Robotic Pet Therapy

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Modern technology has produced something very special- a new companion for the elderly who have Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.  It is a Robotic Pet and it acts similar to a live pet, but it never runs away, has to be fed, or must make an expensive trip to the vet!  These pets give these seniors a true companion and would be terrific for any activity program.  The video is short, but very sweet and shows how these pets can make a real difference to your loved one.  You can find these at Walmart.com.

http://video.foxnews.com/v/5177109640001/are-robots-the-future-of-therapy-animals/?#sp=show-clips

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The Benefits of Volunteering for Seniors

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This was a very interesting article related to volunteers over age 50.  It was conducted in 2005 and 2006 and published in the journal of The Gerontologist.  It showed that there were three important factors that were most beneficial to the volunteer, and produced the best outcomes:

  • Receiving a choice of activities (or areas in which to volunteer) and flexibility to work within their own schedules
  • Receiving an adequate training from the organization
  • Receiving on-going support from the organization

When the seniors received all of these items, they were more satisfied and fulfilled in their position.  When followed up a year later, these seniors reported they had “socioemotional” benefits which included:  significant improvements in their mental health, a greater feeling of productivity, increased social activity, and an overall sense that their life had improved.

http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/what_seniors_get_from_giving_back

 

 

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