Embarrassing Things People With Dementia Say

Many people with dementia lose their social filters and no longer understand what is or is not appropriate to say in public.  They do not say embarrassing things intentionally, but have indeed lost the lens they used to live with.  You may have encountered situations like these:

Person with Dementia: (upon hearing someone speaking a different language) “Speak English!” Or use a racial slur to describe them.

I have seen and heard many elders using racial references that were, to say the least, disrespectful. It doesn’t necessarily mean the people are racist, though some are.  Many of our elders grew up in much less diverse communities than we have today.  They have simply lost whatever inhibitions they may have had. So when they see someone of another ethnicity, they blurt out labels that they heard as youths, embarrassing everyone involved. Continue reading

Keeping The Brain Active Helps Delay Dementia

Despite the fact that research on whether cognitive activities and exercises are effective at holding off Alzheimer’s has not been very conclusive, most of us have a gut level sense that keeping our brain active just has to be a good thing.

Now, two new studies report that stimulating your brain in mid to late life, as well as in your younger years, does indeed help fend off cognitive impairment.  When it comes to investing in your brain health, early is best, but it’s never too late to work on it.alzforum logo

One of those studies was done by the Mayo Clinic and published in the JAMA Neurology journal.  They found that higher levels of educational, occupational, and cognitive activity are associated with a lower risk of dementia.  The onset of cognitive impairment happened a good 81/2 years later for people in the top 25% of intellectual enrichment.

For the rest of us, they found that cognitive activity in mid to late life is still effective in delaying cognitive problems by at least 3 years.  The study tracked people who engaged in several brain activities at least 3 times each week.  These activities can include reading books and magazines, playing games and music, artistic activities, crafts, group activities, social activities, and computer activities.

Overall, the findings show that keeping the brain active throughout life may help protect against cognitive decline in old age, and that it’s never too late to start these activities

Michele – Dignity Care

Exercising Seniors Hold Alzheimer’s At Bay

You have another excellent reason to get out and exercise. This time you are holding Alzheimer’s at bay. Research studies with seniors have looked at the impact of exercise on brain function or on its effects on slowing the progress of dementia. A recent study at the Cleveland Clinic looked at the actual physiology of the brain and found that the brains of people who exercise do not atrophy even if they are at high risk for Alzheimer’s.

Exercising may hold Alzheimers at Bay

 

As many as 1 in 4 of us can carry a specific gene – ApoE4 – that triples the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Those are pretty bad odds, but the Cleveland Clinic followed people with this gene and found that those who exercised regularly showed no shrinkage of their hippocampus. In other words, even though they are at high risk for Alzheimer’s disease their brains looked just like the brains of people at much lower risk for the disease.

This link to an article about the study gives you more specifics about the extent of exercising you need to do to keep that gene under control.

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Is Your Physician Afraid of Dementia Care?

Despite the rising numbers of people with dementia, many doctors are very uncomfortable with their patients who have dementia and ignore the dementia during appointments. Are the doctors in denial about the dementia, are they uncomfortable with a disease they can’t cure or are they just uneducated about dementia? As I accompany my clients to medical appointments or even to emergency room visits, I continually am surprised at how clueless the medical providers are when faced with someone with dementia. The most common reaction is to speak in a very loud voice, which is my clue that I need to do some intervention and modelling.

Why are physicians so uncomfortable around people with dementia? Read this article in the New York Times “The Silence of Doctors Around Alzheimer’s