Category Archives: Alzheimer's and Dementia

Dementia and Your Diet - An Apple a Day...?

Nine Foods to Help Prevent Dementia

A new report from the Alzheimer’s Association says that one out of three seniors die with Alzheimer’s, although that is not necessarily the cause of death. While research is still ongoing about how to stave off Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, some research suggests that certain foods may help protect against mental decline and even prevent brain-wasting diseases. Alzheimer’s is identified with inflammation, so the thinking is that foods with anti-inflammatory properties may be able to delay age-related cognitive disorders. Nine commonly available foods could help prevent mental deterioration, and they even taste good.

Dementia Meltdowns - How to React Safely

“He just blew up at me!” “She threw a tantrum and lost it!” When someone with dementia seems to turn angry or aggressive in an instant — shouting, becoming upset, pushing you away — this meltdown behavior is known as a “catastrophic reaction.” It’s an emotional outburst borne of fear, stress, or other suddenly overwhelming emotions. And it’s not uncommon behavior for moderate-stage dementia.

How to deal with this scenario:

If it happens to you, don’t panic. Retreat. Wait a few minutes for the person to calm down — it’s harder for your loved one to process messages (even your kind, calm ones) when he or she is emotionally “hot.”

Dementia Tip: Non-Verbal Pain Signals

Be a Pain Detective: 3 Wordless Ways Pain Is Expressed

By moderate-stage dementia, caregivers have to become pain detectives. That’s because memory loss and other thinking changes can make it hard for someone with the disease to accurately tell you about episodes of pain, or even (strange as it may sound) to remember the pain when asked about it. Pain control is important both for quality of life and because pain can worsen dementia symptoms.

Here’s how to recognize pain, without words:

Five Fastener-Friendly Clothes for People With Moderate Dementia

By Paula Spencer Scott, senior editor

In moderate dementia, it can be challenging for the person to remember how to work hooks and zippers, or to physically manipulate the small fasteners. So getting dressed will go more quickly and be less frustrating if you can simplify the number of fasteners to contend with.

Try these five easy wardrobe changes:

How to Keep Someone With Alzheimer's or Other Dementias Busy and Active

How to Keep Someone With Alzheimer’s or Other Dementias Busy and Active

By Paula Spencer Scott, senior editor

Keeping busy stimulates the brains of people with dementia while boosting a sense of usefulness and accomplishment. But they lose the ability to select satisfying activities and follow through on them — so you need to initiate things to do. Too much idle time can make anyone feel lonely and unproductive, raising the risk of depression, agitation, and anger.


Insights in Talking to Someone with Dementia

How to Talk to Someone With Dementia: New Insights

By Paula Spencer Scott, senior editor

People with dementia remember more than it may appear, says a small but interesting new study from the UK’s University of Dundee. All knowledge isn’t lost forever, as it may appear when the person is asked something and blanks on a correct response. That knowledge may be retrieved if the person is asked questions in the right way. The researchers found that when subjects were asked the meaning of words, they often couldn’t say. But when the same information was asked in different ways, with more context, they often did remember.

Some related tips on how to talk to someone with dementia to boost their understanding:

National Memory Care Certification Proposal

Proposal Pushes for National Memory Care Certification

An independent proposal made last week, if accepted, could offer a new, optional certification for health care organizations that offer memory care services-a growing niche of senior housing that serves a population expected to triple by 2050, according to a recent report by Alzheimer’s Disease International.

The proposal was made by The Joint Commission, the non-profit accreditation and certification organization that currently certifies more than 20,000 health care organizations and programs in the U.S.

New Test for Alzheimer's is 93% Accurate

A newly-developed blood test may be able to detect Alzheimer’s disease before its symptoms arise. A team of German researchers found the test to be accurate in identifying Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, and other neurodegenerative diseases.

The team, from Saarland University and Siemens Healthcare, developed the test by looking at the blood samples of 48 individuals who were already found to be suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, and 22 healthy individuals. By comparing the two groups, they identified 12 microRNAs in the blood stream that were at different levels for those with Alzheimer’s.

Red Wine and Green Tea Extracts Interrupt Alzheimer's

Natural chemicals found in green tea and red wine may disrupt a key step of the Alzheimer’s disease pathway, according to new research from the University of Leeds.

In early-stage laboratory experiments, the researchers identified the process which allows harmful clumps of protein to latch on to brain cells, causing them to die. They were able to interrupt this pathway using the purified extracts of EGCG from green tea and resveratrol from red wine.


Report Confirms Alzheimer's Disease Crisis

Another Report Confirms Alzheimer’s Disease Crisis

A new report released by Alzheimer’s Disease International found that between 2010 and 2050, the total number of seniors who require care will nearly triple from 101 to 277 million. The report estimates that half of those seniors will be suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or other related dementia.

 Growing Need for Caregivers 

Defining dependence as “the need for frequent human help or care beyond that habitually required by a healthy adult,” the report found that 13 percent of those aged 60 or older are dependent on caregivers.

As the population of those 60 and over continues to increase, the number of those requiring care will also swell, particularly in more developed countries with higher life expectancies. This will create a greater strain on “informal” caregivers, such as friends and relatives, and increase the need for long-term care solutions.