Squaredpixels via Getty Images
This disease that I've heard others speak about all too often is robbing us from having that father-daughter relationship we were on the road to building.
PeopleImages via Getty Images
Advance directives are legal documents that allow patients to spell out their wishes concerning end-of-life care. When medical decisions are required, the document helps to avoid confusion about one's true desires in case of ailing health or incapacity.
laflor via Getty Images
If you are in the situation of caring for a loved one and have made a commitment to placing a loved one on a nursing home placement list, be prepared for the vast array of mixed emotions that might arise when you get that much awaited (or dreaded) call. While you may look forward to lightening the burden that has accompanied your caregiving commitments, you may also feel a deep loss, much like grief. This is normal.
Betsie Van der Meer via Getty Images
Is this really my mother? She's walking around in circles, yelling and cursing about people "breaking into her house." This exhausted, disheveled woman with fear in her eyes and venom in her voice is a nightmare vision, a grotesquely distorted version of my mom. This is life with an Alzheimer's victim.
sturti via Getty Images
We can reasonably assume that most people are familiar with diet- and lifestyle-related recommendations, although they may not always turn those into action. But instead of neglecting your health needs because you are too busy or are having too much fun, you should lay the foundation for a long, healthy, and fulfilling life while you are in your prime.
monkeybusinessimages via Getty Images
The study of the positive aspects of caregiving has received little attention. What has become apparent, is that being able to find and focus on the positive aspects of caregiving has important outcomes including reducing caregiving stress, improving emotional status, and possibly reducing the likelihood of institutionalization.
Lumina Images via Getty Images
For the longest time even scientists believed that the natural aging process inhibits our mental capacity from improving, i.e. through learning. Lost brain cells were considered irreplaceable and growth of new ones practically impossible. Eventually, those assumptions have been proven false.
SilviaJansen via Getty Images
Does alcohol consumption prevent Alzheimer's disease? The studies looking at alcohol use are generally observational in nature. They pick a given population without dementia, ask them about their alcohol intake, and then follow them over time to see who develops dementia.
Alistair Berg via Getty Images
As discussed in previous blogs, communicating with people who are living dementia can sometimes be difficult. I want to thank those of you who told us about the successes you have had with our resourc...
Duncan Davis via Getty Images
In spite of decades of intense and costly research, Alzheimer's disease cannot be prevented, its inevitable progression cannot be halted, and even its symptoms cannot be dramatically improved. Research continues however, though this past year has seen a large number of very notable treatment failures, with drugs, vaccines and non-drug interventions.
Greg Vote, VStock LLC via Getty Images
While the study can't prove it's a direct cause, previous research has found that air pollutants can get into the bloodstream and lead to inflammation.
T.T. via Getty Images
The hustle and bustle of the holidays often brings people together. This can be a problem for those who are challenged by memory loss. While the person with dementia may recognize someone's face, they may struggle to remember the person's name. Nametags can help to address this frustration.
Iain Bagwell via Getty Images
Do you find it difficult to maintain a conversation with older adults who are living with dementia? Many people find that once they get past talking about the weather, how they slept that night or what they had to eat today, they struggle to find ways to stimulate conversation in a way that is meaningful, interesting and mutually rewarding.
The premise of a microbial-brain link suggests restoring gut microbial balance might be able to improve a healthy brain. Yet, figuring out the best method to accomplish this goal has been a challenge. One of the more promising routes involves fecal transplantation. Yet this method has yet to gain significant approval and has not been tested in regards to Alzheimer's disease.
There are times when some people with dementia just want to talk about the frustrations they are experiencing in the moment. These people are in need of chatting about the circumstances related to where they believe they are now.
Caiaimage/Tom Merton via Getty Images
By 2031, it is estimated 1.4 million Canadians will develop dementia — up from 750,000 in 2011.
Pixavril via Getty Images
You don't have to be a senior to experience a "senior moment," meaning you forget an otherwise familiar word or name, or can't exactly remember what you planned to do the next minute. It happens throughout life, it just seems to happen more frequently with age. But it's not always due to mental decline in our later years that we lose track of things.
The main reason we want to put chores, roles or tasks back into the world of those living with dementia is that each person needs to enjoy a life filled with meaning and purpose, regardless of physical and mental health. My favourite expression, which speaks to this, is "The purpose of life, is a life with purpose."
Creatas Images via Getty Images
They hadn't spent more than a few days apart in decades.
Let's start with some basic numbers. Excellent data from Canada indicates that eight per cent of people over the age of 65 will be diagnosed with dementia, and about two-thirds of those will have Alzheimer's disease. The risk of developing Alzheimer's disease doubles for every five years of life beyond age 65, making older age one of the most significant and predictable risk factors.
ImagesBazaar via Getty Images
Shortly after my latest blog, entitled "I'm Engaged," I was delighted and honoured to receive an email from Dr. Laura Gitlin, Professor & Director of the Center for Innovative Care in Aging, Johns Hop...
KatarzynaBialasiewicz via Getty Images
Placement in long-term care is one of the more difficult decisions facing caregivers of patients with dementia. Let me start by stating that my personal bias is to try and keep my patients at home as long as possible, assuming that their safety and health, as well as the caregiver's health, is compatible with this goal.
SelectStock via Getty Images
Have you ever wondered why some people will acknowledge that they have dementia, yet others will clearly deny there is anything wrong? Why do some people argue with the diagnosis? Why do some people know they have dementia but refuse to tell anyone? Why do some discuss openly? Let's explore.
Alistair Berg via Getty Images
As a memory doctor, the most difficult thing I have to do is to tell the patient and their family about the diagnosis of dementia. The second most difficult thing I have to do is recommend driving cessation. There's no question that driving cessation has potentially dramatic effects on independence and quality of life for patients (and their spouses).
Tetra Images via Getty Images
Here's the sobering truth: despite close to 40 years of substantial private and public investment, society has not come up with any meaningful medication to help those with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. Today, some 750,000 Canadians live with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias.
Blend Images - Sam Diephuis via Getty Images
Torge, then in her 40s, was fed up with the way she saw facilities for seniors organized. To her they were dreary, patronizing, dull. While she wasn't nearly old enough to live in one herself, she wanted change before she got there. For her, the only solution was to get radical.
AlexRaths via Getty Images
In recent years, an aging population and the rise of non-traditional marriages have become issues that are increasingly relevant to estate planning considerations in Canada. As society shifts over time, it is important that estate planning methods and strategies are capable of adaptation to suit changing needs.
by Nada Stankova Photography via Getty Images
Personal Support Workers attend to the diverse needs of individuals who rely heavily on the help of others. They have a variety of roles including caring for a person's hygiene, making sure they are nourished, dressed, toileted, validated, comfortable and happy. Most importantly, PSWs may be the only human connection some individuals receive in a single day. Yet, while they are offering their valuable support, it can feel thankless when trying to bathe and clean an uncooperative incontinent person, soothe the irritable and feed the ungrateful who are not longer able to do things themselves.
SilviaJansen via Getty Images
When it comes to the smaller financial activities, such as the purchase of a birthday gift, some may feel that if the one with dementia cannot remember the occasion then it is no longer necessary to give a gift. After all, what they don't know won't hurt them -- right?
Thomas Barwick via Getty Images
The needs related to love; comfort and belonging are too often unmet in those living with dementia. A doll can provide comfort and an opportunity to nurture and love.
The Parliament's Special Joint Committee on Physician-Assisted Death, nevertheless, urged the federal government not to exclude individuals with psychiatric conditions from being considered eligible. Their reasoning comes down to this: Mental suffering is no less profound than physical suffering, so denying individuals with mental illness access to physician hastened death would be discriminatory and a violation of their Charter rights. It's an excellent point, and one worth seriously discussing.
It is important to correct the person with dementia when they say things that are not true - FALSE. The cardinal rule is "never argue with a person with dementia". A person with dementia is simply taking files from their memory bank that come from another place and time. They are sure they are telling the truth.