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20 questions to change the direction of dementia anxiety and aggression

November 19, 2017

I discovered through personal experience, research and observation that people living with dementia (PLWD) behave in logical, natural and understandable ways to stressful situations, just like most of the rest of us do. Although they react as any “normal” person would, their behaviour is more often than not mistakenly attributed to the disease rather than to whatever catalyst actually sparked it.

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Early Signs of Alzheimer's Disease Identified

September 24, 2017

Researchers from the University of Aberdeen have detected key changes in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease.

The study confirmed for the first time that two molecules assumed to contribute to the disease process are both present at very early stages of Alzheimer’s in an area of the brain that is involved in memory formation and information processing.

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Age-related dementia is still not seen as a public health issue.

September 24, 2017

Alzheimer's disease, which is primarily an age-related dementia, is still not seen as a public health issue.

The neuro-degenerative disease had many times been interpreted as a mental health problem because of the behavioural changes in a patient. There is no policy on dementia, perhaps, because of the lack of prioritisation, says S. Shaji, president of the Kochi chapter of the Alzheimer's and Related Disorders Society of India (ARDSI).

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Dementia and the Senses

September 10, 2017

What you need to know about dementia’s effect on the five senses

As we age, many different changes occur in the body, including changes in the sensory organs that enable us to see, to hear, to touch, to smell and to taste.

With some modifications to the environment and dietary adjustments, most people can adapt.

However, for people with dementia, these sensory changes are confusing, stressful, and can put the person’s safety at great risk.  

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Newlywed ski instructor, 32, diagnosed with rare form of dementia in youngest case of the disease doctors have seen

September 4, 2017

Newlywed ski instructor, 32, diagnosed with rare form of dementia in youngest case of the disease doctors have seen

Becky Barletta, from Suffolk, is unlikely to live beyond the next 10 years after being diagnosed just months after getting married.

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People who spend less time in deep, REM sleep may be more likely to develop dementia

September 4, 2017

NEW YORK - People who spend less time in deep, rapid eye movement (REM) sleep may be more likely to develop dementia than individuals who get better quality rest, a recent study suggests.

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New report highlights beneficial effects of nonmedical interventions for people with dementia

July 28, 2017

Managing lifestyle factors such as hearing loss, smoking, hypertension and depression could prevent one­third of the world's dementia cases, according to a report by the first Lancet Commission on Dementia Prevention and Care. Presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference (AAIC) 2017 and published in The Lancet, the report also highlights the beneficial effects of nonpharmacologic interventions such as social contact and exercise for people with dementia.

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Preventing Falls for a Person With Dementia

July 19, 2017

Falls are a danger to a person with dementia, and a cause of alarm to family and professional caregivers. Whether the person lives in the family home or in a care facility, and no matter what stage of dementia the person is living with, falls must—and can—be prevented.

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The Dementia Care, Reverting Back to Childhood

June 29, 2017

“She’s reverting back to how she was when she was a child,” you will hear people say.

Nobody with dementia is going back in time. Dementia is not a time machine.

Yes, people with dementia do seem to gain some childish behaviors as their disease progresses.

This isn't because they are “reverting” back to being children, however, it’s because they are losing things that they've learned as adults.

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Lost But Not Forgotten

June 10, 2017

How do you lose something you can't touch, can't see, a precious artifact entirely unseen? Such is the pressing question in regards to memory, when you sit down, push your brain and demand your chosen recollection to pop on out, and yet the thought refuses to budge.

Life is, beyond the present, a memory. Our futures are born of our past, and are ultimately determined by previous thoughts, dreams, and ideals. By the end of it, everything will have occurred in the past, rendering life a memory in itself. This is perhaps why amnesia brought about by Dementia is so terrible; those whom have lived the majority of their lives and compiled years of knowledge and experience can no longer access it, and yet they have very little time in the future to recreate such memories.

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Age-related memory loss vs. dementia

June 5, 2017

There are times when we can’t remember where we placed our keys or the TV remote, or when we realize we have forgotten a person’s name. It can be embarrassing and isn’t something anyone would like to happen to them, especially in front of others. Being forgetful is usually synonymous with being old, as whenever a forgetful moment happens, it is referred to as “having a senior moment.”

While it is true that as we get older our memory isn’t what is used to be (it is an inevitable part of the aging process), all the important executive functions usually remain intact, with our mental abilities and cognitive skills being largely unaffected.
The reason why we may have more episodes of memory lapses as we get older may be linked to our physiology—and neglecting to strengthen one of our body’s most important organs, the brain!

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Using the Montessori method to combat dementia

June 2, 2017

A retired cardiologist sits at a table at Toronto’s L’Chaim Retirement Home, sorting through cardiograms. He’s not volunteering his time helping others, however. Unbeknownst to him, he’s working at keeping what memories he has.

L’Chaim is using the Montessori Method for Dementia program, a novel approach to combat dementia that has been rolling out in day centres and nursing homes across the country over the last few years. Taking the principles of the Montessori method created for children in the early 20th century and applying them to adults suffering from a range of cognitive diseases, the program is seen as a ray of hope in what is often a heartbreaking reality. More than half a million Canadians are currently affected by dementia, and with an aging population, it is poised to become an even greater concern.

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The Heartfelt Story of a Daughter

May 30, 2017

When I was in graduate school, I had to take a seminar on Petrarch, the Italian poet of the 14th century. I hadn't thought about him much in the last nearly 40 years but, while thinking about tonight, I remembered that our professor had said that Petrarch was a poet for older people. He dealt with the illusory and ephemeral nature of our existence and I made the connection because this is, to a great extent, what dementia is about. It's about how we relate to people who are no longer who they used to be – people who had personalities, habits, foibles, a sense of humour, most of which are vanishing or have vanished. And in a world which values individualism, it is very disconcerting to see people slowly lose theirs. Who are they now that their character has disappeared?

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