Posts Tagged ‘alzheimer’s disease’

Your Brain Health and Aging

Female Anatomy Brain Full

The human brain is a wonderful, complex organ, which, among other things, is responsible for our cognition and memory. Unfortunately for many, aging brings a host of unwanted changes, both physical and mental. Many people mistakenly believe that you either get dementia (or other forms of cognitive decline) as you age or you don’t—but research has found many factors can contribute to or make cognitive decline worse. The good news is that a number of these risk factors are within our control and, like so many other chronic diseases and health conditions, can be managed by making healthy lifestyle choices.

Did you know that poor oral health has been linked to chronic health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and stroke (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Oral Health Basics)? Researchers are currently studying whether a common bacteria associated with chronic periodontal disease could play a role in dementia. A small study at the University of Central Lancashire found products from the bacteria, Porphyromonas gingivalis, in the brains of several deceased individuals who suffered from dementia. Visiting the dentist on a routine basis, along with consistent daily brushing and flossing can help bolster oral health.

The ACL, NIH and CDC have collaborated on several wonderful resources to help you better understand certain risk factors for dementia and steps you can take to keep you and your loved ones healthy. Check out their Brain Health as You Age fact sheet and their Medicine, Brain and Your Age informational resource to learn more. Exercising, eating a diet high in fiber with lots of fruits and veggies, quitting smoking, and maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce your risk of cognitive decline as well as many other chronic diseases.

Why You Should Consider In Home Care

 

happy senior woman on wheelchair with caregiver

Have you noticed that mom and dad are just not taking care of themselves like they used to? Are bills and mail piling up around the house? Is the lawn in need of attention? Does their physical appearance indicate that maybe they haven’t kept on top of their personal hygiene? Perhaps it’s something they said—maybe even joking around—that leaves you with a nagging worry about how they are doing on their own. Sometimes it happens much more quickly, such as a cancer or Alzheimer’s diagnosis or a bad fall, and suddenly you are scrambling to find the right kind of care. You want to be there for them as much as possible but you have your career, spouse and children to take care of. Your loved one wants to retain their independence in their own home. What do you do?

Fortunately, an in-home care company such as Home Care Plus can be just what you and your loved one need. Using a trusted, respected local company helps ensure your loved one gets the best care when you can’t be there. Home Care Plus caregivers are professional, qualified, compassionate and dependable. They can help around the house with light housekeeping and meals. Our caregivers offer a helping hand with personal hygiene, medication reminders, transportation to appointments and prescription pick-up and more. Home Care Plus offers peace of mind that your loved one is safe, eating nutritious meals, taking their medications safely, and has daily companionship. Call us today at 843-628-3642 for a free quote!

Financial Strain: Caring for Someone with Alzheimer’s

Young woman helping and supporting her grandfather to walk outdoor in the garden with his support walking stick.

Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease takes a toll on the family caregiver, not only emotionally and physically, but financially as well. With over 5 million Americans living with the disease, the “costs of care” are having a profound financial impact on many families in the U.S. The 2016 Facts & Figures report by the Alzheimer’s Association highlights the monetary hardships facing these family caregivers.

According to the report, family caregivers spend over $5,000 annually on care. For some, this means they have to sell personal items to cover their bills; for others, it means forgoing their own medical appointments and even groceries. At the same time these families are dealing with the costs of caring for their suffering loved one, many caregivers are forced to cut back their hours at work, which further exacerbates the financial hardship. The report shows that on average, over $15,000 annually is being lost due to caregivers’ reduction in working hours or having to leave their job altogether to provide care.

Just this year alone, the cost of Alzheimer’s care in the U.S. is expected to reach $236 billion (2016 Facts & Figures, Alzheimer’s Association)—with Medicare paying for just under half of this amount. With the number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease expected to nearly triple by 2050, there is plenty of work to be done, including increased planning and educational support for those suffering from the disease and their families, to help ease the financial burden of care.

Visit Alzheimer’s Association’s website, www.alz.org, for the full report.

 

Alzheimer’s Association International Conference

The Alzheimer’s Association International Conference took place this past week in Washington D.C. Find out what the latest research is saying about this disease and learn more about current treatment options: https://www.alz.org/aaic/

Our April Caregiver of the Month is Bernice M!

Bernice McMcKenzie

Home Care Plus would like to recognize Bernice M. as our April Caregiver of the Month. Bernice has been with us for almost a year but has over 20 years experience in this field.  She works primarily with our Alzheimer’s/dementia clients.  We are so happy to have Bernice as part of our team and know that we can count on her to show professionalism and empathy to our clients and their families.

Thank you and congratulations Bernice!

 

Documentary on the Healing Power of Music on Memory Loss

The 2014 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award winning documentary AliveInside highlights the profound effect music has on individuals suffering from memory loss/dementia. It’s a must see for anyone caring for a loved one with memory loss!

The Latest Facts & Figures on Alzheimer’s Disease

According to Alzheimer’s.org, over 5 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. This number is expected to grow to over 7 million by 2025, with staggering repercussions for the healthcare system and healthcare costs. Visit Alzheimer’s.org to read the latest facts and figures on this disease.

Do My Visits Make a Difference?

Caring for a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s disease is emotionally taxing. You may find yourself wondering if the effort you are making to visit and spend time with your loved one matters since they will likely forget you were even there. New research offers hope to families dealing with Alzheimer’s. The study, conducted at the University of Iowa, suggests that the feelings created during a visit can stay with the patient even after they’ve forgotten the visit. This is comforting news to those who are struggling with the emotional burden of Alzheimer’s caregiving–you are making a difference in your loved one’s lives!

Source: University of Iowa, news release, September 24, 2014 and Healthfinder.gov article “Emotional Life Lingers for Alzheimer’s Patients, Even as Memory Fades”

Gene Variant Increases Women’s Risk of Alzheimer’s

This finding could help scientists better understand how the disease works. Women are much more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease, and those with the ApoE4 gene variant have double the risk. Scientists aren’t sure why women are more likely to develop this disease than men. For more information on these findings, read Healthday.gov’s article Gene Variant May Double Alzheimer’s Risk for Women: Study.

Power in Numbers

Caregiving Support Groups Can Help You Feel “Normal” Again

You can find all sorts of articles about how challenging it is to be a family caregiver. There are plenty of statistics on the physical, mental, emotional, and financial toll family caregiving can take on an individual. There is a wealth of information on how to reduce caregiving stress and prevent burnout. As a family caregiver, while these tips and suggestions may be helpful, they may not provide the outlet you are looking for. Sometimes you just need to vent your fears and frustrations and find comfort in the shared experiences of other family caregivers. In this way, support groups can trump other means of caregiver support.

The thoughts and feelings family caregivers experience range from compassion, selflessness, fear, anger, and despair to guilt, loathing, selfishness, hopelessness and regret. And this might just be in the course of a few hours! You may not be comfortable sharing your thoughts with a non-caregiver for fear of them judging you. Caregiver support groups can provide you an opportunity to be open and honest about your thoughts and experiences without having to worry about being looked down upon. Most likely everyone in the room will relate to you and have similar stories to tell. The camaraderie you establish with fellow support group members can leave you feeling “normal” again.

If you are a family caregiver in Charleston, you can find local caregiver support groups on the Trident Area Agency on Aging’s website. You can also find support groups specific to caring for someone with Alzheimer’s at alz.org.