Alzheimer’s In The News

This month, exclusive footage from a forthcoming PBS documentary Alzheimer’s: Every Minute Counts debuted on NextAvenue.org.

The clip focuses on tips offered by Dr. Rudolph Tanzi (Harvard Medical School) to reduce the spread of memory loss. His advice includes the usual suspects: maintaining a healthy diet, getting exercise, and (our favorite) getting 7-8 hours of deep sleep per night.

The Brooking Park team felt especially compelled to share this video in relation to our October post about the (in)effectiveness of popular brain games. Dr. Tanzi touches on this topic:

So I tell people, ‘when you’re getting ready for retirement, you have to equally think of a financial reserve, and a synaptic reserve’….And that really means learning new things. It doesn’t mean playing brain games, which could just help focus, but not really make new synapses

His analogy contrasts New York Times crossword puzzles from Monday through Thursday – which only helps focus, versus the weekend crosswords that require the solver to apply what they’ve learned during the week from the weekday puzzles.
Check out the four-minute video below:

The 60-minute documentary premiers January 25, 2017, at 9pm CST on PBS.
As a New Year’s resolution, challenge yourself: replace red meat with fish, find ways to reduce stress, and stay socially and intellectually active!

Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Parents’ House

08It’s the time of year when everyone is thinking about cleaning out their house – and you may be running into trouble when helping your relatives clear out their junk.  Paula Spencer Scott at Caring.com put together a list of tips for helping your parents or loved ones clean out their clutter. Here are a few of them:

Take pictures of items before parting with them. Very often the memories are more important than the item itself. Taking a picture and storing the files on a computer can be an easy way to reduce junk space to zero.

Understand the keeper’s motivation. If they are keeping items because they “might need it someday” you can assure them that you will help them if they do. If your loved one is a collector of items, they may be willing to sell the collection or give it as gifts.

Set an appointment. Have a standing appointment set up to help ease your loved one into downsizing. Setting up one night a week, or an hour every evening, to go over sorting items can be helpful in getting momentum going.

Get some professional help. A senior move manager can help with moving your loved ones if you are far away or if things need to be done quickly.  They can assist with problems of what to do with items, and helping your loved one willingly part with items.

At Brooking Park we encourage assisted living residents to incorporate personal mementos and decoration into their apartments. To find out more about assisted living at Brooking Park, call us at (314) 576-5545.

 

Know the Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s

05Memory loss and dementia can be a scary thing to see in a family member. Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that causes a slow decline in memory, thinking and reasoning skills.  Alz.org, a leading health organization dedicated to Alzheimer’s research and care, has put together a list of 10 warning signs that may show that your loved one is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Alz.org advises seeing a doctor If you notice any of these signs.

  1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life. If your loved one has short term memory losss, or frequently forgets recently learned information, that could be a potential sign of Alzheimer’s.
  2. Challenges in planning or solving problems. Alzheimer’s may cause disruption to daily tasks such as following a recipe or handling bills.
  3. Difficulty completing tasks at home, at work, or at leisure. Another sign is trouble with tasks such as driving to a familiar place, or managing a budget.
  4. Confusion with time or place. For example, forgetting where they are or how they got there.
  5. Trouble understanding visual images or spatial relationships: Such as difficulty reading, judging distance or determining color.
  6. New problems with words in speaking or writing. Trouble following conversations, repeating themselves, or struggling with vocabulary are warning signs.
  7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps.  Alzheimer’s may cause people to lose things and place things in unusual places.
  8. Decreased or poor judgment. People with Alzheimer’s may have trouble managing their money and performing daily self-care.
  9. Withdrawal from work or social activities. if your loved one has been withdrawing from work or social activities, or has trouble keeping up with a favorite hobby, that could be a sign of problems.
  10. Changes in mood and personality. Those with Alzheimer’s may experience mood changes such as suspicion, depression or anxiety.

Infrequent occurrences of these signs, such as missing a monthly payment, occasionally forgetting a word to use, or losing things now and then, may just be indicators of normal aging. However, if symptoms escalate to those described above, you may want to consider finding a doctor who specializes in memory care, or looking into help from an expert memory care community like Brooking Park. We’re here to help!