Managing Behavioral Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease


Managing Behavioral Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease

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Managing Behavioral Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease

According to the National Institute on Aging, Common behavioral symptoms of Alzheimer’s include sleeplessness, agitation, wandering, anxiety, anger, and depression.
Scientists are learning why these symptoms occur and are studying new treatments—drug and non-drug—to manage them.
Treating behavioral symptoms often makes people with Alzheimer’s more comfortable and makes their care easier for caregivers.”

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Sandra – America’s #1 Caregiving Expert www.SandraHaymon.com

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How is Alzheimer’s Disease Treated?


How is Alzheimer’s Disease Treated?

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How is Alzheimer’s Disease Treated?

According to the National Institute on Aging, “Alzheimer’s disease is a complex disease, and no single “magic bullet” is likely to prevent or cure it. That’s why current treatments focus on several different aspects, including helping people maintain mental function; managing behavioral symptoms; and slowing, delaying, or preventing the disease.

Helping People with Alzheimer’s Maintain Mental Function

Four medications are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat Alzheimer’s. Donepezil (Aricept®), rivastigmine (Exelon®), and galantamine (Razadyne®) are used to treat mild to moderate Alzheimer’s (donepezil can be used for severe Alzheimer’s as well).

Memantine (Namenda®) is used to treat moderate to severe Alzheimer’s.

These drugs work by regulating neurotransmitters (the chemicals that transmit messages between neurons).

They may help maintain thinking, memory, and speaking skills, and help with certain behavioral problems. However, these drugs don’t change the underlying disease process and may help only for a few months to a few years.”

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Sandra – America’s #1 Caregiving Expert  SandraHaymon.com

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Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease


Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease

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Slowing, Delaying, or Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease
According to the National Institute on Aging, “Alzheimer’s disease research has developed to a point where scientists can look beyond treating symptoms to think about addressing the underlying disease process.
In ongoing clinical trials, scientists are looking at many possible interventions, such as cardiovascular and diabetes treatments, antioxidants, immunization therapy, cognitive training, and physical activity.
November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. Please participate in Memory Walks and other related activities to help increase awareness of Alzheimer’s Disease.

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Alzheimer’s Disease and Family Support


Alzheimer’s Disease and Family Support

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Supporting Families and Caregivers
According to the National Institute on Aging, “Caring for a person with Alzheimer’s disease can have high physical, emotional, and financial costs.
The demands of day-to-day care, changing family roles, and difficult decisions about placement in a care facility can be hard to handle. Researchers are learning a lot about Alzheimer’s caregiving, and studies are helping experts develop new ways to support caregivers.
Becoming well-informed about the disease is one important long-term strategy. Programs that teach families about the various stages of Alzheimer’s and about flexible and practical strategies for dealing with difficult caregiving situations provide vital help to those who care for people with Alzheimer’s.
Developing good coping skills and a strong support network of family and friends also are important ways that caregivers can help themselves handle the stresses of caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease. For example, staying physically active provides physical and emotional benefits.
Some Alzheimer’s caregivers have found that participating in a support group is a critical lifeline. These support groups allow caregivers to find respite, express concerns, share experiences, get tips, and receive emotional comfort.
The Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s Disease Centers, and many other organizations sponsor in-person and online support groups across the country. There are a growing number of groups for people in the early stage of Alzheimer’s and their families.
Support networks can be especially valuable when caregivers face the difficult decision of whether and when to place a loved one in a nursing home or assisted living facility.
For more information about at-home caregiving, see Caring for a Person with Alzheimer’s Disease: Your Easy-to-Use Guide from the National Institute on Aging at www.nia.nih.gov/Alzheimers/Publications/CaringAD.”

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Sandra – America’s #1 Caregiving Expert  SandraHaymon.com

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What Causes Alzheimer’s Disease


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What Causes Alzheimer’s?
According to the National Institute on Aging, “Scientists don’t yet fully understand what causes Alzheimer’s disease, but it is clear that it develops because of a complex series of events that take place in the brain over a long period of time.
It is likely that the causes include genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. Because people differ in their genetic make-up and lifestyle, the importance of these factors for preventing or delaying Alzheimer’s differs from person to person.
Scientists are conducting studies to learn more about plaques, tangles, and other features of Alzheimer’s disease. They can now visualize plaques by imaging the brains of living individuals. They are also exploring the very earliest steps in the disease process. Findings from these studies will help them understand the causes of Alzheimer’s.
One of the great mysteries of Alzheimer’s disease is why it largely strikes older adults. Research on how the brain changes normally with age is shedding light on this question.
For example, scientists are learning how age-related changes in the brain may harm neurons and contribute to Alzheimer’s damage. These age-related changes include atrophy (shrinking) of certain parts of the brain, inflammation, and the production of unstable molecules called free radicals. “

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Sandra – America’s #1 Caregiving Expert
SandraHaymon.com

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Alzheimer’s Disease-Mild, Moderate & Severe Stages


Alzheimer’s Disease-Mild, Moderate & Severe Stages

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Alzheimer’s Disease-Mild, Moderate and Severe

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Here’s more information from the National Institute on Aging on mild, moderate and severe stages of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Mild Alzheimer’s Disease“As Alzheimer’s disease progresses, memory loss continues and changes in other cognitive abilities appear. Problems can include getting lost, trouble handling money and paying bills, repeating questions, taking longer to complete normal daily tasks, poor judgment, and small mood and personality changes. People often are diagnosed in this stage. “
Moderate Alzheimer’s Disease
“In this stage, damage occurs in areas of the brain that control language, reasoning, sensory processing, and conscious thought. Memory loss and confusion increase, and people begin to have problems recognizing family and friends. They may be unable to learn new things, carry out tasks that involve multiple steps (such as getting dressed), or cope with new situations. They may have hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia, and may behave impulsively. “
Severe Alzheimer’s Disease“By the final stage, plaques and tangles have spread throughout the brain and brain tissue has shrunk significantly. People with severe Alzheimer’s cannot communicate and are completely dependent on others for their care. Near the end, the person may be in bed most or all of the time as the body shuts down. “
I have written about my personal experiences with my mother and step-father, who were both diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, in my latest book Baby Boomers–Sandwiched Between Retirement & Caregiving.

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Sincerely,
Sandra – America’s #1 Caregiving Expert 
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Early Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease


Friday, January 4, 2013


Early Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease

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Early Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease

According to the National Institute on Aging, “Although we still don’t know what starts the Alzheimer’s disease process, we do know that damage to the brain begins as many as 10 to 20 years before any problems are evident.
Tangles begin to develop deep in the brain, in an area called the entorhinal cortex, and plaques form in other areas. As more and more plaques and tangles form in particular brain areas, healthy neurons begin to work less efficiently.
Then, they lose their ability to function and communicate with each other, and eventually they die. This damaging process spreads to a nearby structure, called the hippocampus, which is essential in forming memories.
As the death of neurons increases, affected brain regions begin to shrink. By the final stage of Alzheimer’s, damage is widespread and brain tissue has shrunk significantly. “
The National Institute on Aging further reports, early signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
“Memory problems are one of the first signs of Alzheimer’s disease. Some people with memory problems have a condition called amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI). People with this condition have more memory problems than normal for people their age, but their symptoms are not as severe as those with Alzheimer’s. More people with MCI, compared with those without MCI, go on to develop Alzheimer’s.
Other changes may also signal the very early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. For example, brain imaging and bio marker studies of people with MCI and those with a family history of Alzheimer’s are beginning to detect early changes in the brain like those seen in Alzheimer’s.
These findings will need to be confirmed by other studies but appear promising. Other recent research has found links between some movement difficulties and MCI. Researchers also have seen links between some problems with the sense of smell and cognitive problems. Such findings offer hope that some day we may have tools that could help detect Alzheimer’s early, track the course of the disease, and monitor response to treatments. “
Unfortunately, I know first-hand about this insidious disease. My Mother and step-father were both diagnoses with Alzheimer’s, and I wrote the first book ever published in the United States on caring for aging parents.
My Turn–Caring for Aging Parents & Other Elderly Loved Ones was published in 1996!

Limited Time Offer!! Get your copy of my latest book, Baby Boomers-Sandwiched Between Retirement & Caregiving, which includes everything from My Turn at: http://www.babyboomerssandwich.com/store.shtml Only $19.99 

Also, get $750 in FREE Gifts with purchase!!

Sincerely,
Sandra – America’s #1 Caregiving Expert 
www.SandraHaymon.com

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May is ‘Older Americans Month’


May is Older Americans Month and millions of baby boomers will celebrate this year. The silver tsunami hits U.S. shores as 10,000 baby boomers a day celebrate their 65th. birthday, and join the community of ‘older Americans.’

“Every May since 1963, people in towns and cities across the country have come together to celebrate the enormous contributions of older Americans—borne of wisdom, experience, and the will to realize their dreams and speak their minds. Older Americans Month is our chance to show our appreciation and support our seniors as they continue to enrich and strengthen our communities.

The theme of this year’s celebration—Older Americans: Connecting the Community—pays homage to the many ways in which older adults bring inspiration and continuity to the fabric of our communities. Their shared histories, diverse experiences, and wealth of knowledge have made our culture, economy, and local character what they are today. The theme also highlights the many ways technology is helping older Americans live longer, healthier and more engaged lives.

In fact, older Americans are more active in community life than ever before, thanks in part to advances in health care, education, technology, and financial stability over the last several decades that have greatly increased their vitality and standard of living. Older adults are out and about giving back and making a difference in their community.

Our seniors are mentoring the leaders of tomorrow, taking to heart the need for intergenerational learning to guide and inspire young minds. They offer a take on times gone by not discussed in any history class—a unique perspective that sheds new light on contemporary issues.
Older Americans step up to help one another as well. Across the country, seniors connect with other seniors by delivering meals, helping with home repair, assisting with shopping, and offering companionship, counseling, and care. Their efforts remind us that when older adults are active and engaged in their communities, everyone benefits.

Help us celebrate Older Americans Month! Join your neighbors not only to recognize what older citizens bring to our communities, but also to help them continue playing a vital role in weaving a unique and lasting community fabric.

Contact your local Area Agency on Aging to find out about volunteer opportunities with programs that provide services for seniors to improve health literacy, increase access to quality health services, deliver food and nutrition services, provide financial and housing counseling, sponsor social and civic activities, and more. We think you will discover that when you help seniors thrive in your community, you gain far more than you give.” Re-printed with permission from: www.aoa.gov/AoARoot/Press_Room/…/oam/…/OAM_Sample_Article.pdf

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Free Gifts for Caregivers of Alzheimer’s Victims.


Get four FREE gifts at www.TheSacredJourneyofCaregiving.com/AlzWalk

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1. Emotional Issues of the Caregiver (from Dr. Haymon’s book Baby Boomers-Sandwich Between Retirement & Caregiving)

2. Medical Advance Directives (DNR,DNH, DPOA, Living Will, Surrogate Caregiver, Surrogate Acceptance, and Medical Release of Information)

3. Caregiver’s Emotional Quiz – 100 Emotions Common to Caregivers

4. Elderly “Red Flag” Checklist-117 Warning Signs That Your Elderly Love One May Not Be Safe Living Alone

For more information please visit: www.sandrahaymon.com

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Aging, Technology and Social Media


This was sent to me by Suzanne Long. "Long on Service" Tallahassee, FL
Enjoy!! 

I thought about the 30 year business I ran with 1800 employees, all 
without a Blackberry that played music, took videos, pictures and 
communicated with Facebook and Twitter.

I signed up under duress for Twitter and Facebook, so my seven kids, 
their spouses, 13 grandkids and 2 great grand kids could communicate 
with me in the modern way. I figured I could handle something as simple 
as Twitter with only 140 characters of space.

That was before one of my grandkids hooked me up for Tweeter, Tweetree, 
Twhirl, Twitterfon, Tweetie and Twittererific Tweetdeck, Twitpix and 
something that sends every message to my cell phone and every other 
program within the texting world.

My phone was beeping every three minutes with the details of everything 
except the bowel movements of the entire next generation. I am not ready 
to live like this. I keep my cell phone in the garage in my golf bag.

The kids bought me a GPS for my last birthday because they say I get 
lost every now and then going over to the grocery store or library. I 
keep that in a box under my tool bench with the Blue tooth [it's red] 
phone I am supposed to use when I drive. I wore it once and was standing 
in line at Barnes and Noble talking to my wife as everyone in the 
nearest 50 yards was glaring at me. Seems I have to take my hearing aid 
out to use it, and I got a little loud.

I mean the GPS looked pretty smart on my dash board, but the lady inside 
was the most annoying, rudest person I had run into in a long time. 
Every 10 minutes, she would sarcastically say, "Re-calc-ul-ating".  You 
would think that she could be nicer. It was like she could barely 
tolerate me. She would let go with a deep sigh and then tell me to make 
a U-turn at the next light. Then when I would make a right turn instead, 
it was not good.

When I get really lost now, I call my wife and tell her the name of the 
cross streets and while she is starting to develop the same tone as 
Gypsy, the GPS lady, at least she loves me.

To be perfectly frank, I am still trying to learn how to use the 
cordless phones in our house. We have had them for 4 years, but I still 
haven't figured out how I can lose three phones all at once and have to 
run around digging under chair cushions and checking bathrooms and the 
dirty laundry baskets when the phone rings.

The world is just getting too complex for me. They even mess me up every 
time I go to the grocery store. You would think they could settle on 
something themselves but this sudden "Paper or Plastic?" every time I 
check out just knocks me for a loop. I bought some of those cloth 
reusable bags to avoid looking confused, but I never remember to take 
them in with me.

Now I toss it back to them. When they ask me, "Paper or Plastic?" I just 
say, "Doesn't matter to me. I am bi-sacksual."  Then it's their turn to 
stare at me with a blank look.

I was recently asked if I tweet. I answered, "No, but I do toot a lot."
I know some of you are not over 50;  I sent it to you to allow you
    to forward it to those who are....So they can laugh, too!

www.TheSacredJourneyofCaregiving.com

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