Posts Tagged Alzheimer’s

Working Together to Care for Mom or Dad

Advice for Adult Siblings to Provide Care for Elderly Parents – AARP.

Are you a caregiver for an elderly parent?  Perhaps you are a senior yourself, caring for an aged sibling…  This article from AARP was written by a man who moved his aging mother from Florida to an apartment near his home in Pennsylvania.  The author of this article is the older of two brothers and there is a disagreement between the two siblings as to how much care their mother needs and who should provide the care.  Dealing with these issues over their mother’s care has caused the resurfacing of some childhood dynamics.

A few terrific points have been made:

  • Remember the stakes are high- when siblings work together the aging parent will receive better care
  • Beware of reversion- try to see your sibling as an adult and don’t revert back to relationship patterns of early family life (work together as a equally respectable team, recognizing each others’ strengths)
  • Shelf the sexism- sons are capable of providing good care to an aging parent (don’t expect your sister to always be the caregiver)
  • Equality is unrealistic and possible inefficient- it may be one adult child is doing a large part of the care giving or decision making for an aging parent, but there are very real and helpful ways for other adult siblings to help out throughout the year (even if they live in another state)
  • Be kind to one another- its okay to vent caregiving frustrations to a sibling, but always be respectful in doing so, and thankful for what others have contributed as well
  • Advice is easy to give, but hard to implement- it is easy to say we “should do this”, but sometimes very difficult to implement… know that caregiving can be very stressful and being able to talk about it openly, respectfully (especially when there is a challenge) is a journey
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Blood Pressure Drugs May Reduce Alzheimer’s Risk

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Blood Pressure Drugs May Reduce Alzheimer’s Risk | Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation.

Did you know that people with high blood pressure are more likely to get Alzheimer’s?  In this article, autopsies were performed on over 700 Asian Americans- most of whom had high blood pressure.  Those who took beta blockers for their HBP had the LEAST changes to their brain- meaning the beta blockers helped reduce the probability of Alzheimer’s or dementia.  The beta blockers also helped reduce the risk for microinfarcts, a condition that arises when blood does not get to certain areas of the brain, causing multiple tiny strokes.

If you have high blood pressure, please take the time to read this article- it is very interesting.  In the end, I was reminded that there is a direct link between a healthy heart and healthy brain….

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Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel: 75 is the ideal age to die

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Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel: 75 is the ideal age to die | Fox News Video.

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel says that 75 years old is the ideal age to die…. Why I Hope to Die at 75” — 57-year-old Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel argued that living to be 75 years old was long enough for anyone. After 75, Emanuel suggests, “We are no longer remembered as vibrant and engaged but as feeble, ineffectual, even pathetic.”

Yes, it is true that many older adults have Alzheimer’s or are disabled from stroke- but many MORE do not have these issues and are living healthy, independent lives.  Please watch this Fox News video about why Dr. Emanuel’s opinion is pessimistic.

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Young Blood May Hold Key to Reversing Aging

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Young Blood May Hold Key to Reversing Aging – NYTimes.com.

Can you imagine a time where there is a breakthrough so significant, that there are cures for things like heart disease, Alzheimer’s and even the aging process?  According to this article, research has been done that shows the blood from young mice reverses aging in old mice, rejuvenating their muscles and brains.  If this happens in mice, could this also happen in humans?  Perhaps; but a caution was noted: to wake up old stem cells in older adults may mean they multiply uncontrollably; leading to cancer.  I’ll leave it to scientist to keep pushing onward.  I look forward to an update on this in the years to come.

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Potential Breakthrough in Fight Against Depression

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Potential breakthrough in the fight against depression | Fox News Video.

A “natural” hormone called Ghrelin is currently being researched in mice through clinical trials.  It is a “hunger” hormone that is secreted from the stomach and sends a signal to the brain that you are hungry.  It also affects your brain in regard to memory and mood.  Finally, it creates some new nerves.

Scientists believe that by using a booster, it will increase the hormone Ghrelin.  *The key, is to NOT have an increase in the desire to eat (as Americans eat enough as it is!).  It can be a major breakthrough not only for depression, but other diseases such as Parkinsons and Alzheimer’s.  It is an exciting step forward for the 1 out of 10 Americans who suffer from depression and thousands of others who suffer from degenerative diseases.

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Lost Sleep Leads to Lost Brain Cells

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Lost sleep leads to lost brain cells, says study | Fox News.

According to this article, significant sleep loss can mean irreversible damage to brain cells.  This article said sleep loss for a few hours- like staying up late to study for an exam is not an issue.  The concern is for shift workers such as nurses or law-enforcement, or perhaps people with insomnia.  Missing large chunks of sleep over time can literally kill brain cells.  So, what can you do?  Request a work schedule that gives you the maximum amount of sleep possible and if you struggle with insomnia, talk to your doctor.

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Infants With Genetic Risk for Alzheimer’s

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Brain imaging differences found in infants with genetic risk for Alzheimer’s | Fox News.

This article discusses research performed on young babies who carry a gene linked to Alzheimer’s. “In a new report published in JAMA Neurology, researchers have revealed that infants who carry the gene APOE-E4 – a variant associated with an increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease – also tend to have differences in brain development compared to children who don’t have the gene.”

Because researchers are beginning to understand that “some” change occurs early in the brains of these infants who carry the gene, the hope is that one day there will be a special intervention early on (reducing the risk for Alzheimer’s)… vs. waiting 60 years until real cognitive changes take place.

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