Choosing the right home

DEMENTIA: man with dementia is abused in care home

senior abuse

The neglect and lack of care in many nursing homes is outrageous, as the Wilmington family discovered when their father, 94 year old Walter Newman almost died.  After being sent to the hospital, the son Jon Green was told urine was built up in his fathers stomach due to not having the catheter flushed. Also 3 high grade bedsores, severe dehydration and the inability to mobilize for lack of walking were also contributing to the pneumonia that almost took Walters life.

“He is still in hospital and amazingly we have been told he is medically fit and we are in discussions with social services.”

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DEMENTIA: the truth about dementia

memories dementia shutterstock_59314510

With the countries attention focused on Alzheimer’s, we forget that there may be another kind of dementia or an underlying cause for dementia-like symptoms, in our loved ones or perhaps even in ourselves.

“Althoughthe most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease (75%), there are multiple other forms as well, including, but not limited to, Lewy body dementia and vascular dementia.

Dementia becomes more common with age. While it occurs in only 3% of people between the ages of 65-74, 47% of people over the age of 85 have some form of dementia.

In most cases of dementia, there is no cure. Benefits of medication are slight, and only if used very early in the disease course. Little improvement may be noted with cognitive and behavioral therapy. However, what may appear to be dementia is often a treatable condition; there are more than 100 disorders that can trigger dementia-like symptoms. Some of the more common reversible conditions that masquerade as dementia are: Normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH), medication interactions or side effects, depression, urinary tract infection, thyroid disease, Vitamin B-12 deficiency and diabetes.

Whether you are concerned about your own increasing forgetfulness and ability to concentrate, or about apparent cognitive decline in someone you love, ask your doctor to do everything possible to correctly diagnose what is causing it. There is a good chance it is not dementia, but rather a problem that can be treated”, written by Faith Trussell RN, BSN.

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DEMENTIA: Tips for exercise as a form of prevention

senior fitness

The following exersice suggestions can benefit anyone, particularly sceniors.  

“It’s no surprise that exercise is good for your mind and your body, but the Ontario Brain Institute has launched an initiative to study the specific effects of physical activity on the prevention and management of Alzheimer’s Disease.

In partnership with McMaster University in Hamilton, the institute released tips for safe physical activity for older adults, saying “it’s not too late to start.”

“Most older adults are not getting sufficient exercise for good health,” said Jennifer Heisz, an assistant professor at McMaster on the research team.

“We know there is a direct link between exercise and a reduced risk for Alzheimer’s, but we don’t really understand the mechanism. Our research is focused on looking at the intricacies of different kinds of physical activity and memory specifically for brain health.”

“The end goal of this research is to give people a practical way that they can take control of their aging, and use exercise as a personalized prescription.”

Discussing exercise plans with a primary care physician is a good first step, as is starting out slowly.

It can be as simple as making a conscious effort to move your body more every day, the institute’sAlzheimer’s “toolkit” says, in bouts of 10 minutes or more. Things like:

 

  • Breathe and lift your arms over your head.
  • Use the stairs.
  • Engage in active hobbies (bird watching, fishing, gardening).
  • Dance.
  • Do some light housework.
  • Play with your grandchildren.
  • Take an after-dinner stroll with a partner.
  • Walk around the mall.
  • Get up and walk around during commercials.

 

Heisz also mentioned McMaster’s PACE, the Physical Activity Centre of Excellence, a seniors-only gym for people over the age of 55 open to the community. The gym has trained kinesiologists who supervise peer workouts and offers specific exercise prescriptions.

“It’s one of the great things about Hamilton,” she said. “It’s a safe place for older people to work out.”

For older adults, exercising safely can be an issue.

“Our main recommendation is to exercise with a partner or a caregiver,” Heisz said.

How to stay safe:

If you have difficulty balancing, use the back of a chair or hold on to a counter.

Take extra care as a pedestrian and wear an ID bracelet if you are walking alone.

If swimming, have a friend when in and around the water or swim at pools with a qualified lifeguard on duty.

If you start to have trouble walking and moving around, continue to do safe activities such as light housework, stationary bike cycling, chair yoga and sitting exercises. Use a cane or other mobility aid if you need to.

Be active with others (including pets). You are more likely to get moving if you make a commitment to do it with someone else.

Choose activities you like and have fun.

The “toolkit” divides exercise for seniors into three categories.

Aerobic activity

This includes brisk walking, pole walking, snowshoeing, hiking. Use a stationary bike, swim, cross-country ski, skate, row, do paddling and kayaking.

Muscle and bone strength

Build this by using resistance tools like bands and weights, or do yard work and gardening; and sign up for aqua fitness classes, curling or bowling. Do heavy housework (vacuuming, scrubbing).

Enhancing balance

Do this with tai chi, yoga, golf, dancing and stretching.”

Article source: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/news/alzheimer-s-disease-tips-for-exercise-as-a-form-of-prevention-1.2678735?cmp=rss

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CARE: Online Support

Senior man using computer

People affected by dementia get online help:

“People with dementia, as well as their caregivers, can now find information and support by meeting in a new online gathering place.

“It’s more than a website,” said Bill Gaudette, chief executive of the Alzheimer Society of Alberta and Northwest Territories.

“It’s an online, interactive community for people with dementia and their caregivers.”

The ASANT Cafe — the name refers to the society’s acronym and to its community aspect

The website is a place where anyone can go to join discussions, watch videos, ask questions and get information from a virtual community, on Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.

Research shows that nearly half the people who suspect a family member suffers from dementia will put off seeking a medical diagnosis for up to two years.

This website allows those people to seek information in a discreet way.

While people who live in larger centres can join dementia support groups, that’s less likely for rural residents, Gaudette said.

“When you are diagnosed, your world gets very small. People quite often just don’t know how to deal with it.”

The project follows more than a year of development and about $1 million in seed financing from Alberta Health. Ongoing costs will be borne by the society.” BY BILL MAH, EDMONTON JOURNAL

With new and innovative ideas on how to cope with and manage dementia,  Albertans will be more prepared to deal with the growing number of individuals being diagnosed with this disease.

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DEMENTIA: dementia patient gets murder charges

dementia kills

Murder charge still pending for centenarian women with dementia:

“Prosecutors don’t expect 102-year-old Laura Lundquist to go to trial for the strangling of Elizabeth Barrow in 2009 because ‘it would be like prosecuting a 2-year-old’ She was indicted at 98 on second-degree murder.” “SCOTT BARROW/ASSOCIATED

A person with dementia needs constant monitoring and unfortunately if not, bizarre and terrible accidents can occur.

“Nearly five years after a woman was charged with killing her 100-year-old roommate in a Massachusetts nursing home, a second-degree murder charge is still pending against her at the age of 102.

Laura Lundquist, diagnosed with dementia, was deemed incompetent to stand trial after she was charged with strangling Elizabeth Barrow, who was found in her bed with a plastic bag tied around her head.

Since then, the oldest murder defendant in the state’s history has been held at a psychiatric hospital. Prosecutors say they don’t expect the case to ever go to trial, but just in case, the murder charge remains on the books.

Barrow’s son, Scott, says he has never pushed for Lundquist to be prosecuted.

“It would be like prosecuting a 2-year-old,” he said in an interview Thursday. “It’s just an awful thing that happened. How could she be held accountable for this when she’s not in her right mind?”

After Lundquist was indicted in 2009 at age 98, Bristol County District Attorney Sam Sutter said prosecutors pursued a second-degree murder charge because they didn’t believe Lundquist had the cognitive ability to form premeditation, which must be proven in a first-degree murder case.

Sutter’s spokesman, Gregg Miliote, said the case remains open”.

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