All posts tagged alzheimer’s disease

6 Ways To Slow Progression of Early Onset Alzheimer's Disease

Over the years, desperate statements from medical research teams have made the world believe that once you show signs of Alzheimer’s disease, there is little you can do to about the condition. Not anymore because current research has revealed that there are several things a person living with early onset Alzheimer’s disease can do to slow progression of the disease. Here are six ways to slow down Alzheimer’s disease.

1. Regular exercise Sepia Grunge Sign - Stay on Trail

According to ARPF or (Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation) physical exercises minimizes the danger of developing this disease by fifty percent. Here are important tips that can help you get started and stick to your exercise plan:

• Do aerobic exercises five times a week for at least 30 min per day. Swimming, walking, laundry, gardening and cleaning all amount to exercise so long as their intensity increases your heart rate.

• Undertake balance and coordination exercises like yoga, Tai Chi, balance balls and balance discs

• Build muscles through lifting moderate weights and other forms of resistance training to pump up your brain.

• Hang on for more than 21 days without skipping daily exercise, as this will help turn exercising into a habit.

Over and above these benefits, exercising also helps you reduce stress, improve your memory, increase your energy levels and boost your mood.

2. Healthy diet Foodswings Meal

Medical experts say that glial cells can be very helpful in removing toxins and debris that contribute to Alzheimer from the brain. This means you have to eat such foods as soy products, green tea, ginger, fatty fish and all forms of berries that inhibit properties that may keep these crucial cells from damage. Your brain, just like the rest of the body, needs a specific and proper diet to work well. You should therefore plan to eat a lot of healthy fats, fresh fruit, lean protein, and vegetables.

Important Tips:

  • Learn more about a Mediterranean diet and subscribe to it.
  • Keep off from saturated fats and Trans fats.
  • Maintain a diet that supports the health of your heart.
  • Include lots of Omega 3 in your diet.
  • Instead of taking three huge meals, break it down to four to six small ones across the day.
  • Eat vegetables and fruits across the rainbow.
  • Take some well-done steaming cups of tea every day.

 3. Mental Stimulation Radio Rectangle : Hobby

People who challenge themselves to learn new things every now and then are less likely to become victims of Alzheimer’s disease. You should therefore make resolve to take up this challenge. Some things that you can do to stimulate your brain may include;

  • Learning a sign language; learn foreign language; learn a musical instrument;
  • Read a good book or informative newspaper articles
  • Adopt a new hobby.
  • You can also embark on the practice of memorization.
  • Do riddles and puzzle games.
  • Practice asking yourself the; Who? What? Where? When & Why? questions from you own experiences on a daily basis
  • Do unusual things like eating with your less dominant hand etc.

 4. Quality sleep sleep

On an average, you are supposed to take at least 8 hours of sound sleep every night. This is because the human brain needs consistent and proper sleep to be able to function to its required capacity. Lack of enough sleep will only leave you feeling tired, cranky and impaired in your thought process. To achieve this you therefore need to;

  • Come up with an organized sleep timetable that is observed without compromise.
  • Master the art of napping.
  • Set the bedroom mood by keeping your bed exclusively for sex and sleep.
  • Remove gadgets like computers or television from the bedroom.
  • Come up with a bed time ritual to help you relax as you head on to catch sleep. This can include doing some easy stretches, taking a hot bath writing a journal or even dimming the lights.
  • Tone down your inner chatter. Anxiety, stress and negative inner dialogue can easily rob you of sleep and keep you awake most of the night. When in this state, you can quieten it by getting out of bed and moving to the next room where you can relax with an easy book for say 20 minute before you resume.

5. Stress management ~ oneness meditation ~

Owing to the fast pace of modern life stress has become every man and woman’s nightmare. If unchecked, stress can shrink part of your brain better termed as the hippocampus. This negative development can hamper the growth of your nerve cells thereby increasing the risk of being afflicted by Alzheimer. To manage your stress levels you can do the following:

  • Learn the art of breathing. Respond to your stress by taking three deep, abdominal breaths.
  • Have an organized daily schedule of relaxation activities.
  • Nourish your inner peace through observations like prayer, meditation, reflection and the like.

 6. Fill your social life with activityiPad

As senior social creatures, human beings cannot do well in isolation. Therefore living contrary to this social need will do much to expose you to the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. To be socially active, you can do the following;

  • Actively interact on social media.
  • Join a social group or club.
  • Sign up for group classes.
  • Volunteer for community service.
  • Know your neighbors well.
  • Make several phone calls or email mutual friends on a regular basis.
  • Visit parks, museums; go to movies or any other places that allow you unwind.

As mentioned earlier, Alzheimer’s disease is not a condition to dread anymore. Just observe these tips and you can slow down early onset Alzheimer’s Disease For more professional and detailed information simply apply for an EHIC card and reap the benefit of guidance from the real medical experts.

5 Important Ways To Help Someone Live Well With Dementia

What do you think of when you hear the word ‘dementia’? The medical definition talks about a decline in cognitive functioning with physiological abnormalities in the brain, which is progressive, chronic, irreversible and without a cure. Pretty depressing stuff I think you will agree and not very helpful if you want to support someone to live well with dementia.

I prefer to think about dementia as a failure to store new information and experiencing difficulties with some or all of the following: processing information, problem solving, language, perception of objects, behaviour and mood.

There are 100 or more causes of dementia and the most common are Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. Some symptoms are common across all dementias while others are more likely to occur in one specific disease. All dementia is progressive and unique to each individual. No two people will experience dementia in the same way.

People living with dementia continually search for new information to try to make sense of the here and now. They just don’t have the information stored in their short-term memory that we have at our fingertips. Some people use a non-verbal way of searching for information such as ‘wandering’, which could be more aptly described as ‘wondering’ in the context of people living with dementia.

How we respond to the person, and how supportive or enabling their surroundings are, will greatly affect how well someone can live with dementia. Here are 5 ways you can help someone live well with dementia. IMG_0013

1. See the person not their dementia

You cannot care for a person unless you care about them and to care about them you must know who they are.

 Behind every label and statistic is a unique individual so before looking at what they need, make sure you find out who they are.

A one page personal profile and life story work will help enormously with this. What was important, good and bad about their childhood, school days, working life and retirement? What music did they like? What makes them happy and sad? How do they like to be supported?

One of the greatest gifts we can give someone with dementia is help him or her get back to old happy memories from the past.

Relationships are important to human beings yet tend to get forgotten when someone living with dementia needs care. The same happens with their personal assets, which seem to disappear into oblivion when needs are being assessed. We need to take account of personal relationships and assets to help put humanity back into services for people living with dementia.

2. Feelings are important

A person living with dementia will always know how they are feeling but will generally not know why because this information will not have been stored. There is a large continuum between feeling OK and feeling totally traumatised. The person will track back through old memories to make sense of what is happening now and this search will be based on feelings. We all need context, a sense of the here and now and you can support the person by helping them access old happy memories to create a positive context.

Feelings matter more than anything to a person living with dementia. Although they will forget facts such as names, places, faces and numbers they will continue to experience feelings until the end of their life.

The following examples help to illustrate this

You’ve been to visit your mother who is living with dementia and you had a huge row. You go away thinking it doesn’t matter because she will probably forget about it.

Now she may forget what the argument was about and even your visit, but her feelings of hurt, sadness and maybe humiliation will stay with her.

Here is another. You’ve been to visit your mother and you both had a lovely time but she called you by the wrong name. You wonder whether you should bother to visit her anymore because she won’t remember.

Your mother may not remember your name but she will remember how you made her feel – loved, comforted, secure and happy.

3. Don’t ask questions

If people living with dementia have difficulty storing new information we need to stop expecting them to find the information by asking questions, which are after all, a direct request for information.

You begin your visit with something like ” You are looking well today”  rather than “How are you?” Even a basic question such as “What would you like for lunch?” requires quite complex processing “Have I got to cook the meal?” “Why lunch when I haven’t had my breakfast yet?” “How will I cook the meal?” ” I may not remember where to find everything” “What if I can’t remember how to cook?” You need to find subtle ways to offer choice such as “I fancy some lunch now. Let’s see what’s on offer?” or “What a lovely smell. Shall we see what it is?

4. Don’t contradict

Never contradict or argue with a person living with dementia. Present statements instead. It’s not about colluding or lying to the person, more about entering their world and going with their current reality.

Here’ is an example to explain what I mean. You suggest to your mother who is living with dementia that you put the kettle on to have a cup of tea ” Your mother tells you it will be better to wait until her mother comes. Rather than correcting her by saying “Granny is dead you know” it is better to say something like  “Silly me I forgot ” You haven’t lied to her. Your mother just hasn’t t retained the information that her mother is dead.

However if when you arrived, your mother asked ” Is my mother dead” she has already found the information so you might gently squeeze her arm and say something like “Granny died a few years ago Mum. You can see her twinkling on a starry night if you look carefully”.

5. Listen to the expert

The person dealing with dementia is the expert in their dementia and everything they do has a meaning behind it. They will tell you everything you need to know if you just listen with your eyes, as well as your ears and give them your full attention.

We cannot reverse dementia, or take it away, but we can promote a good quality of life no matter how advanced their dementia is.

We have the ability to tune into the persons feelings, allay their anxieties and help them live an enjoyable, relaxed, calm and contented existence.

I’d like to conclude with something Terry Pratchett, the well-known author who is himself living with dementia, said recently. “I am lucky. I am in a place where I can be me”

I would like everyone living with dementia to be able to say the same.

 

Emma’s Story

Emma had been concerned about her mother Martha for a while, because she had been showing signs of dementia, such as repeating questions to Emma and becoming confused when she carried out basic tasks like preparing scrambled eggs or making toast. Eventually Martha was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia.

Caring for an older person bigstock-Old-And-Young-Hands-11671895

At first Emma and her sister took turns to stay with their mother but soon found they could not keep it up. They contacted Relative Matters, an elderly care consultancy, who found a small day centre not far away, which specialised in looking after people with dementia and arranged for her mother to attend, five days a week. This enabled Emma to continue her career as a physiotherapist and her sister to spend more time looking after her husband, who recently had a stroke. When Martha attended the day centre, Emma and her sister knew their mother was safe, socially stimulated and receiving nourishing food and regular drinks.

As her mother’s disease progressed, Relative Matters arranged for regular carers from an agency to provide care and support for her mother before and after she attended the day centre as well as during the evening and at weekends.

Providing consistent care

To help provide consistency, Emma was advised to set up a care journal for her mother. Whoever was with Martha, would record the important details of their shift, such as food eaten, fluids consumed, bowel and bladder movements, activities accomplished and other relevant information.

Emma, her sister and the care workers became proficient at using the hospital bed and hoist provided by the district nurse, a wheelchair, wheelchair ramps and a food processor to prepare easy to chew, soft food as Martha had chosen not to wear her dentures. Relative Matters arranged for Meals on Wheels to be delivered on a Saturday to give Emma a break from preparing food and free up time to take her mother out.

A peaceful death

When her mother became ill with pneumonia, Emma took special leave from work and moved in to look after her. During Martha’s last forty-eight hours of life, she was loved and comforted by Emma and her sister, attended by the district nurse and heard her son’s voice over the phone, all the way from Australia.

A Family Carers' Tale – Caring For Someone With Dementia

Here is a story about how my elderly care consultancy, Relative Matters, helped two sisters care for their elderly mother who was living with dementia, at home.

Emma and Ruth’s Story

Emma had been concerned about her mother Martha for a while, because she had been showing signs of dementia, such as repeating questions to Emma and becoming confused when she carried out basic tasks like preparing scrambled eggs or heating a pizza. Eventually Martha was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia.

At first Emma and her sister Ruth, took turns to stay with their mother but soon found they could not keep it up. We found a small day centre not far away, which specialised in looking after people with dementia, so Emma arranged for her mother to attend, five days a week. This enabled Emma to continue her career as a physiotherapist and her sister to spend more time looking after her husband, who recently had a stroke. We pointed out to Emma and Ruth that when Martha attended the day centre, she would be kept safe, socially stimulated, receive nourishing food and regular drinks.

As their mother’s disease progressed, we helped Emma and her sister to claim the higher rate Attendance Allowance and arrange for regular carers from an agency to provide care and support for their mother before and after she attended the day centre.sisters

To help provide consistency, we advised Emma and Ruth to set up a Care Journal for their mother. Whoever was with Martha, would record the important details of their shift, such as food eaten, fluids consumed, bowel and bladder movements, activities accomplished and other relevant information.

Emma, Ruth and the care workers became proficient at using the hospital bed and hoist provided by the district nurse, a wheelchair, wheelchair ramps and a food processor to prepare easy to chew, soft food as Martha had chosen not to wear her dentures. We suggested Emma and Ruth arrange for Meals on Wheels to be delivered on a Saturday to give them a break from preparing food and free up time to take their mother out.

When their mother became ill with pneumonia, Emma took special leave from work and moved in to look after her. During Martha’s last forty-eight hours of life, she was loved and comforted by Emma and Ruth, attended by the district nurse and heard her son’s voice over the phone, all the way from Australia.

The Best Kept Secret of Elderly Care

One of the best kept secrets in elderly care is that vulnerable elderly people are being admitted to hospital and even dying because they are not being given enough to drink and have become dehydrated.

As a specialist in care management for older people, I find that time and again, when I am supporting someone to leave hospital, their discharge is delayed because they have become dehydrated and have to be put on a drip. I believe there are several reasons for this. Firstly there are insufficient staff to ensure older people drink enough. A jug of water is placed on the person’s locker and either they are unable to see or reach it, or they forget it is there. However, I think the most common reason is that unlike younger generations, most older people simply do not like plain water.

Other factors include poor mobility, restricting opportunities for getting and making hot and cold drinks and the fact that most older people do not drink enough for fear that they may not get to the toilet in time.

Thirst, the body’s natural response to dehydration, has also been shown to be impaired in older people and those who have had a stroke or are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, may be particularly insensitive to thirst. Older people also need to drink more if it is hot, or if they have a temperature because they are unwell.

As caring relatives, friends and neighbours we should be aware of the need for good hydration and the role we can play in ensuring older people drink enough fluids.

How to spot dehydration in an elderly person

  • Urine is a dark yellow rather than the straw colour it should be.
  • Urinating infrequently
  • Passing small amounts of urine
  • Confusion
  • Problems with walking or falling
  • Dizziness or headaches
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Constipation
  • Decrease in urine output.

You can easily check for dehydration by pinching the person’s skin gently on the back of their hand for a few seconds; if it does not return to normal within a few seconds, they are dehydrated.  If they live in in a care home, make sure that staff offer a variety of beverages (remember, taste buds change with age, so a beverage they used to enjoy may no longer taste right), and provide drinks not only at mealtimes but in between meals. If they are in hospital make sure you take in their favourite cordial or juice and that a mug or water bottle is placed within easy reach. Make sure you encourage them to drink while you are visiting and ask other visitors to do the same.

When I was managing the care of my own parents  at home, I used to keep one of those sports water bottles filled with pink grapefruit juice (their favourite) and placed one beside each of their chairs and another by their bed. I ensured their Personal Assistants refilled the bottles regularly and I did the same whenever I visited them. Of course I would also make and have a cuppa with them too.

As with most things, prevention is the key. Making sure older people stay hydrated now, is so much easier than treating them for dehydration later and it really doesn’t take much time.