Tuesday, December 12, 2017

How to help veterans with dementia maintain function

Caregivers, and healthcare professionals,here is some great information

Here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professionals,

Your residents will love the Amazon Kindle Fire

Here is information on being the best caregiver you can be


Here is a way for nurses administrators, social workers and other health care  professionals to get an easyceu or two

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The Dementia Caregiver's Little Book of Hope [Kindle Edition


EurekAlert

AMERICAN GERIATRICS SOCIETY

People with dementia often have behavioral symptoms. These include problems with memory, language, and decision-making abilities. People with dementia can also experience changes in mood, such as increased irritability, depression, and anxiety. They often need assistance with their daily activities, such as feeding, dressing, using the toilet, and bathing themselves. These symptoms are often troubling for people with dementia, as well as for their caregivers.
These dementia symptoms can reduce quality of life for people as they age. This can make them dependent on other people, which can lead to caregivers feeling distressed. It may also lead to people with dementia being hospitalized or placed in a nursing home, even if it is not what they would prefer for their care.
There are no effective drug treatments for dementia or its symptoms. Therefore, researchers have been exploring treatment options to improve symptoms that don't involve using medication. A team of researchers studied one of those programs, called the Tailored Activity Program (TAP). TAP matches activities to the interests and abilities of people with dementia. Then it teaches caregivers how to use those activities daily.
The researchers initially reported positive results in a small study of 60 people. They then studied TAP in a larger group of veterans living with dementia. They reported their results in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
The researchers studied 160 veterans diagnosed with dementia and whose average age was 80. The study also included 160 of the veterans' caregivers, who were mostly women around 72-years-old.
TAP included up to eight in-home sessions led by occupational therapists (health professionals who focus on helping us participate in the activities of everyday life). During the first two sessions, these health professionals evaluated the veterans' risk for falls, their daily routines and habits, and their previous and current interests. They also examined the veterans' home environment, including lighting, seating, clutter, and noise. They looked as well at the interests and abilities of the veterans' caregivers. Based on the assessment, the therapists provided an "assessment report" and offered three "activity prescriptions."
The therapists showed the veterans and caregivers how to set up the activities and use them every day. They also provided written instructions for the caregivers. The instructions covered activity goals for the individual veteran and communication strategies for the caregiver. They also instructed caregivers on ways that they could modify the home environment to help the veteran participate in the activity. The therapists worked with the veterans to show the caregivers how to use activities. They had caregivers practice recommended communication strategies. They also provided on-going education to help caregivers understand dementia and its behavioral symptoms.
During the last two sessions, caregivers learned how to simplify activities as the veterans' abilities declined. They also learned strategies to make care challenges like bathing easier.
A control group of caregivers received eight telephone sessions with a trained research team member who offered caregiver education about home safety and dementia. The researchers did not offer information about activities or behavioral symptoms to this group.
After four months, nearly 70 percent of the veterans in the TAP group either eliminated or reduced the frequency and severity of their dementia-related behaviors. This is compared to 46 percent of the veterans in the control group. Also, caregivers in the TAP group reported that the veterans were less dependent on them as they performed their daily activities. Caregivers in the TAP group reported less distress due to the veterans' behaviors, too.
The researchers concluded that TAP offers immediate benefits to the veterans and their caregivers.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Does Alzheimer's cause problems sleeping

Caregivers, and healthcare professionals,here is some great information

Here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professionals,

Your residents will love the Amazon Kindle Fire

Here is information on being the best caregiver you can be

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The Dementia Caregiver's Little Book of Hope [Kindle Edition]

www.bidmc.org.

Alzheimer's can cause difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep and awakening too early. These often lead to nighttime confusion and wandering. Doctors now think they know why. 




BOSTON – As people grow older, and especially if they get Alzheimer's, they often have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. They also tend to awaken too early in the morning. In individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, this often leads to nighttime confusion and wandering.

The Brain Cells Behind Sleep

A study led by researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and the University of Toronto/Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center helps explain why sleep becomes more fragmented with age and Alzheimer's. Reported online today in the journal Brain, the new findings demonstrate for the first time that a group of inhibitory neurons, whose loss leads to sleep disruption in experimental animals, are substantially diminished among the elderly and individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, and that this, in turn, is accompanied by sleep disruption.

“On average, a person in his 70s has about one hour less sleep per night than a person in his 20s,” explains senior author Clifford B. Saper, MD, PhD, Chairman of Neurology at BIDMC and James Jackson Putnam Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School. “Sleep loss and sleep fragmentation is associated with a number of health issues, including cognitive dysfunction, increased blood pressure and vascular disease, and a tendency to develop type 2 diabetes. It now appears that loss of these neurons may be contributing to these various disorders as people age.”

Sleep Switch

In 1996, the Saper lab first discovered that the ventrolateral preoptic nucleus, a key cell group of inhibitory neurons, was functioning as a “sleep switch” in rats, turning off the brain’s arousal systems to enable animals to fall asleep. “Our experiments in animals showed that loss of these neurons produced profound insomnia, with animals sleeping only about 50 percent as much as normal and their remaining sleep being fragmented and disrupted,” he explains.

A group of cells in the human brain, the intermediate nucleus, is located in a similar location and has the same inhibitory neurotransmitter, galanin, as the vetrolateral preoptic nucleus in rats. The authors hypothesized that if the intermediate nucleus was important for human sleep and was homologous to the animal’s ventrolateral preoptic nucleus, then it may also similarly regulate humans’ sleep-wake cycles.

In order to test this hypothesis, the investigators analyzed data from the Rush Memory and Aging Project, a community-based study of aging and dementia which began in 1997 and has been following a group of almost 1,000 subjects who entered the study as healthy 65-year-olds and are followed until their deaths, at which point their brains are donated for research.

Actigraphic Recording

“Since 2005, most of the subjects in the Memory and Aging Project have been undergoing actigraphic recording every two years. This consists of their wearing a small wristwatch-type device on their non-dominant arm for seven to 10 days,” explains first author Andrew S. P. Lim, MD, of the University of Toronto and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center and formerly a member of the Saper lab. The actigraphy device, which is waterproof, is worn 24 hours a day and thereby monitors all movements, large and small, divided into 15-second intervals. “Our previous work had determined that these actigraphic recordings are a good measure of the amount and quality of sleep,” adds Lim.

The authors examined the brains of 45 study subjects (median age at death, 89.2), identifying ventrolateral preoptic neurons by staining the brains for the neurotransmitter galanin. They then correlated the actigraphic rest-activity behavior of the 45 individuals in the year prior to their deaths with the number of remaining ventrolateral preoptic neurons at autopsy.

“We found that in the older patients who did not have Alzheimer’s disease, the number of ventrolateral preoptic neurons correlated inversely with the amount of sleep fragmentation,” says Saper. “The fewer the neurons, the more fragmented the sleep became.” The subjects with the largest amount of neurons (greater than 6,000) spent 50 percent or more of total rest time in the prolonged periods of non-movement most likely to represent sleep while subjects with the fewest ventrolateral preoptic neurons (less than 3,000) spent less than 40 percent of total rest time in extended periods of rest. The results further showed that among Alzheimer’s patients, most sleep impairment seemed to be related to the number of ventrolateral preoptic neurons that had been lost.

New Target for Improving Sleep

“These findings provide the first evidence that the ventrolateral preoptic nucleus in humans probably plays a key role in causing sleep, and functions in a similar way to other species that have been studied,” says Saper. “The loss of these neurons with aging and with Alzheimer’s disease may be an important reason why older individuals often face sleep disruptions. These results may, therefore, lead to new methods to diminish sleep problems in the elderly and prevent sleep-deprivation-related cognitive decline in people with dementia.” 

Friday, December 8, 2017

Tips to make the holidays better for seniors


Caregivers and healthcare professionals, here is some great information

Here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professionals,


Your residents will love the Amazon Kindle Fire


Here is information on being the best caregiver you can be


Here is a way for nurses administrators, social workers and other health care  professionals to get an easyceu or two


Follow alzheimersideas on twitter

The Dementia Caregiver's Little Book of Hope [Kindle Edition

Healthday News

By Robert Preidt




For some seniors, this despondency can lead to suicide, according to the American Geriatrics Society, which noted that the 2004 suicide rate for Americans over the age of 65 was 14 per 100,000.
The society offers seniors some tips on how to avoid feeling blue during the holidays:
  • Get out and about. Ask family and friends for help traveling to parties and events or invite family and friends to your home.
  • Volunteer. Helping others can be a great mood lifter. Contact local schools, churches, synagogues and mosques to find out about volunteer opportunities.
  • Don't drink too much alcohol, which can lower your spirits.
  • Accept and express your feelings. There's nothing wrong with not feeling happy during the holidays -- many people feel the same way. Talking about your feelings can help you understand why you feel the way you do.
  • Recognize the signs of depression, which include: sadness that won't lift; loss of interest or pleasure; changes in appetite and weight; sleeping much more than normal; crying often; feeling restless or tired all the time; feeling worthless, helpless or guilty; slowed thinking; thoughts of death or suicide.
If you notice that an older loved one seems depressed, lend a hand by offering to help them with shopping, transportation and preparations for get-togethers in their homes, the society advises. Encourage your loved one to talk about how he or she is feeling and acknowledge their difficult feelings.
You should also encourage your loved one to talk to a health-care provider. Many older people don't realize when they're depressed. If you believe an older loved one is depressed, tell them depression is a medical illness that can be treated and managed.
SOURCE: American Geriatrics Society, news release,

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

10 Holiday Survival Tips for Families Coping with Alzheimer’s



Caregivers and healthcare professionals, here is some great information

Here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professionals,


Your residents will love the Amazon Kindle Fire


Here is information on being the best caregiver you can be


Here is a way for nurses administrators, social workers and other health care  professionals to get an easyceu or two


Follow alzheimersideas on twitter

The Dementia Caregiver's Little Book of Hope [Kindle Edition



alz.org/FlGulfCoast
For most families, holidays are times for family gatherings, sharing laughter, and happy memories. But, for family caregivers of persons living with Alzheimer’s disease, holidays can be filled with stress, disappointment, sadness, and frustration.

Because of the changes a person with dementia has experienced, he or she may feel a sense of loss during the holidays. At the same time, caregivers may feel overwhelmed to maintain holiday traditions. Families may feel uncertain when they start to recognize the changes of their loved one during their holiday visit.

The Alzheimer’s Association - Florida Gulf Coast Chapter- has developed 10 Holiday Survival Tips that will help make holiday festivities a happy, memorable occasion.
s. The Alzheimer’s Association offers a round
Tip 1 - Planning can avoid holiday stress
Individuals who experience the most difficulty with the holiday season are those who have given little thought to the challenges they will encounter. Consider ahead of time what may be expected of you, both socially and emotionally.
 Discuss holiday celebrations with relatives and close friends in advance.
 Plan to maintain a regular routine while trying to provide a pleasant, meaningful and calm holiday event.
 Celebrate early in the day or have a noon meal rather than a late dinner.

Tip 2 – Take care of yourself (caregiver)
Remember, the holidays are opportunities to share time with people you love. Try to make these celebrations easy on yourself and with the person with Alzheimer’s disease so that you may concentrate on enjoying your time together.
 Set limits by telling family and friends that you intend to control stress this holiday season.
 Maintain a positive mental attitude.
 Ask for assistance for you and your loved one.
 Attend an Alzheimer’s Association support group that will allow you discuss ways to overcome holiday stress.
 Prepare to deal with post-holiday letdown. Arrange for in-home care (respite care) so you can enjoy a movie or lunch with a friend and reduce post-holiday stress.

Tip 3 – Prepare the person with Alzheimer’s for the family gathering
Preparing your loved one for the upcoming holiday events can allow both of you to enjoy the warmth of the season.
 Talk about and show photos of family members and friends who will be visiting.
 Have a “quiet” room in case things get too hectic.
 Play familiar music and serve favorite traditional holiday foods.
 Schedule naps, especially if the person usually takes naps.

Tip 4 – Prepare family members and friends
Preparing families and friends with an honest appraisal of the person’s condition can help avoid uncomfortable or harmful situations.
 Familiarize family members and friends with behaviors and condition changes.
 Recommend practical and useful gifts. (See Tip 7)
 Remind family and friends the best way to communicate with a person with dementia. (See Tip 6)

Tip 5 – Involve everyone when selecting activities
Involve everyone in holiday activities including the person with dementia.
 Consider taking walks, icing cookies, telling stories, doing chores, making a memory book or family tree, or keeping a journal.
 To encourage conversation, place magazines, scrapbooks, or photo albums in reach; play music to prompt dancing or other kinds of exercise.
 Encourage young family members to participate in simple and familiar activities with the person.

Tip 6 – Communicate with success
Alzheimer’s can diminish a person’s ability to communicate. These tips may help you understand each other.
 Be calm and supportive if the person has trouble communicating.
 Speak slowly with a relaxed tone.
 Avoid criticism. For example, when someone forgets a recent conversation, avoid saying, “Don’t you remember?”
 Address the person by name.
 Be patient, flexible, and do not argue with the person with Alzheimer’s

Tip 7 -- Smart gift giving
 Encourage family and friends to give useful, practical gifts for the person such as identification bracelet (available through Medic Alert® + Alzheimer’s Association Safe Return®). Other gifts may include comfortable easy-to-remove clothing, audiotapes of favorite music, videos, and photo albums.
 Advise others not to give gifts such as dangerous tools or instruments, utensils, challenging board games, complicated electronic equipment, or pets.
 If possible, involve the person in giving gifts. For example, someone who once enjoyed cooking may enjoy baking cookies, or buy the gift and allow the person to wrap it.



Tip 8 – Safe environment in the home
Persons with dementia may experience changes in judgment. This behavior may lead to confusion, frustration, or wandering. Consider these tips to reduce the risk of injury and situations that could be confusing to someone with dementia.
 Assign a “buddy” to watch out for the person to ensure their comfort.
 Arrange ample space for walking side-by-side, for wheelchairs, and walkers. Keep walking areas clear.
 Consider seating options so the person with Alzheimer’s can best focus on conversation and be least distracted.
 Don’t serve alcohol, which may lead to inappropriate behavior or interactions with medications.
 Accommodate changes in vision. Place contrasting-color rugs in front of doors or steps. Avoid dark-colored rugs that may appear to be “holes.”
 Limit access to places where injuries occur, such as a kitchen or stairwell. Check temperature of water and food. Prevent falls by installing metal grab bars; and secure textured stickers to slippery surfaces.
 Create even level of lighting; avoid blinking lights.
 Keep decorations simple; avoid using candies, artificial fruits/vegetables, or other edibles as decorations.
 Supervise in taking medicine.
 Keep emergency phone numbers and a list of medications handy.

Tip 9 -- Travel wisely
The following suggestions may ensure a positive traveling experience:
 Never leave the person alone.
 Use familiar modes of transportation and avoid peak travel times.
 Keep plans simple and maintain daily routines as much as possible.
 Allow extra time to avoid the stress of rushing.
 Advise service and hospitality staff that you are traveling with someone with dementia and about the person’s behaviors and special needs.
 Arrange for services, such as wheelchairs, ahead of time.
 Provide identification items such as a Medic Alert® + Alzheimer’s Association Safe Return®) bracelet and clothing labels.

Tip 10 – Reliable sources of support

Monday, December 4, 2017

Those with dementia still have feelings

Caregivers, and healthcare professionals,here is some great information

Here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professionals,

Your residents will love the Amazon Kindle Fire

Here is information on being the best caregiver you can be

Here is a way for nurses administrators, social workers and other health care  professionals to get an easyceu or two

Follow alzheimersideas on twitter

The Dementia Caregiver's Little Book of Hope [Kindle Edition]

University of Iowa Healthcare

Caregivers have a profound influence on the emotional state of individuals with Alzheimer's. Learn how.




A new University of Iowa study further supports an inescapable message: caregivers have a profound influence -- good or bad -- on the emotional state of individuals with Alzheimer's disease. Patients may not remember a recent visit by a loved one or having been neglected by staff at a nursing home, but those actions can have a lasting impact on how they feel. 
The findings of this study are published in the September 2014 issue of the journal, Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology.

UI researchers showed individuals with Alzheimer's disease clips of sad and happy movies. The patients experienced sustained states of sadness and happiness despite not being able to remember the movies.

"This confirms that the emotional life of an Alzheimer's patient is alive and well," says lead author Edmarie Guzmán-Vélez, a doctoral student in clinical psychology, a Dean's Graduate Research Fellow, and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow.

Guzmán-Vélez conducted the study with Daniel Tranel, UI professor of neurology and psychology, and Justin Feinstein, assistant professor at the University of Tulsa and the Laureate Institute for Brain Research.

Tranel and Feinstein published a paper in 2010 that predicted the importance of attending to the emotional needs of people with Alzheimer's, which is expected to affect as many as 16 million people in the United States by 2050 and cost an estimated $1.2 trillion.

"It's extremely important to see data that support our previous prediction," Tranel says. "Edmarie's research has immediate implications for how we treat patients and how we teach caregivers."

Despite the considerable amount of research aimed at finding new treatments for Alzheimer's, no drug has succeeded at either preventing or substantially influencing the disease's progression. Against this foreboding backdrop, the results of this study highlight the need to develop new caregiving techniques aimed at improving the well-being and minimizing the suffering for the millions of individuals afflicted with Alzheimer's.

For this behavioral study, Guzmán-Vélez and her colleagues invited 17 patients with Alzheimer's disease and 17 healthy comparison participants to view 20 minutes of sad and then happy movies. These movie clips triggered the expected emotion: sorrow and tears during the sad films and laughter during the happy ones.

About five minutes after watching the movies, the researchers gave participants a memory test to see if they could recall what they had just seen. As expected, the patients with Alzheimer's disease retained significantly less information about both the sad and happy films than the healthy people. In fact, four patients were unable to recall any factual information about the films, and one patient didn't even remember watching any movies.

Before and after seeing the films, participants answered questions to gauge their feelings. Patients with Alzheimer's disease reported elevated levels of either sadness or happiness for up to 30 minutes after viewing the films despite having little or no recollection of the movies.

Quite strikingly, the less the patients remembered about the films, the longer their sadness lasted. While sadness tended to last a little longer than happiness, both emotions far outlasted the memory of the films.

The fact that forgotten events can continue to exert a profound influence on a patient's emotional life highlights the need for caregivers to avoid causing negative feelings and to try to induce positive feelings.

"Our findings should empower caregivers by showing them that their actions toward patients really do matter," Guzmán-Vélez says. "Frequent visits and social interactions, exercise, music, dance, jokes, and serving patients their favorite foods are all simple things that can have a lasting emotional impact on a patient's quality of life and subjective well-being."

126 new drugs being tested for Alzheimer's

Caregivers, and healthcare professionals,here is some great information

Here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professionals,

Your residents will love the Amazon Kindle Fire

Here is information on being the best caregiver you can be

Here is a way for nurses administrators, social workers and other health care  professionals to get an easyceu or two

Follow alzheimersideas on twitter

The Dementia Caregiver's Little Book of Hope [Kindle Edition]

Alzheimer's drug discovery foundation

126 DRUGS ARE IN ALZHEIMER'S clinical trials. "Every single one represents hope," according to Closing in on a Cure: 2017 Alzheimer's Clinical Trials Report. Read the report. Learn about the trials. 




There are 126 drugs in clinical development for Alzheimer's disease and "every single one represents hope," according to Closing in on a Cure: 2017 Alzheimer's Clinical Trials Report. The report, released this week by the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF), identifies the drugs for Alzheimer's that have reached human clinical trials.

"Alzheimer's has too often been a story of failure," says Howard Fillit, MD, Chief Science Officer at the ADDF. "But this report shows a diverse group of promising drugs are nearing the finish line. The first disease-modifying treatment for Alzheimer's is likely in clinical trials right now. We are closing in."

While drugs targeting beta-amyloid (a protein that comprises the plaques common in Alzheimer's) remain the most prevalent, other drug targets such as inflammation, mitochondria, and neuroprotection are gaining ground. This broadening of targets is due in part to the efforts of the ADDF, which funds new approaches to treating Alzheimer's. Nearly 20% of the drugs now in clinical stages have received ADDF support.

In addition to the emergence of innovative targets to treat Alzheimer's, the report highlights other aspects of the current clinical pipeline. This includes the relatively small number of repurposed drugs being tested, the shift toward trials with earlier-stage patients, and persistent challenges such as recruitment and the relative lack of validated biomarkers for innovative targets. It also defines a path forward for the field, specifically the need for experimental trial designs and combination therapy approaches.

Closing in on a Cure: 2017 Alzheimer's Clinical Trials Report focuses on potential disease-modifying drugs, which are designed to slow, stop, or possibly even reverse the course of Alzheimer's. Because clinical trials are the final stages of a drug's development, some of the drugs listed in this report could be available to patients in just a few years. Highlights follow:

  • 126 Disease-Modifying Drugs. There are 126 potential treatments for Alzheimer's disease in clinical development.
  • Half of the Drugs are in Phase 2. We found 33 drugs in phase 1 trials, 68 in phase 2, and 25 in phase 3.
  • Beta-Amyloid is Most Common Target. Despite a history of failures, 30 drugs in clinical trials are targeting beta-amyloid, a misfolded protein that comprises the plaques found in Alzheimer's. An additional 11 drugs target other misfolded proteins such as tau or mechanisms to clear such proteins.
  • The ADDF Has Supported 20% of Clinical-Stage Drugs. It has provided funding to support the development of 25 of the 126 treatments now in clinical development.
  • Additional 19 Drugs to Address Associated Symptoms. There are also 19 drugs in clinical trials designed only to address symptoms experienced by Alzheimer's patients, such as agitation, depression, and insomnia.
To find a clinical trial in your area, go to the U.S. government's site, ClinicalTrials.gov .

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Have a Merry Christmas with Great Gifts For Those With Dementia

Here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professinals,

Here is information on being the best caregiver you can be

Learn what activities and gifts will make those with Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia smile this holiday season. These activities and gifts ensure you and your loved one or client a delightful Christmas, this year

PRLog – Over 5.5 million people in the US now have Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. We all benefit from sharing Christmas with someone we care about. The smells, the sounds, and the sights bring back happy memories. People with dementia should have this opportunity too. Following these tips will ensure you and your loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia a pleasurable holiday season. Use these tips to help you choose a gift they will enjoy now and in days and months to come.
The gift of yourself is one of the best gifts you can give so do things together.
One thing you can do .....read all of Great Gifts For Those With Dementia

Fitness is important in dementia prevention. Click below for more info