In our house, we talk a lot about long-term care. My dad is 92 and afflicted by dementia and failing eyesight.
Luckily, I'm blessed with three wonderful siblings who do the hard work of caring for my father and making sure he can stay in his own home in suburban Detriot. But my visits from Brooklyn to spell my siblings are becoming increasingly complex, as my father needs more care and loses track of exactly who I am.
It had been three years since her 86-year-old mother, Eleanor Schwartz, moved in with her and her husband in their home in Johnsburg, Ill. Mrs. Schwartz has Alzheimer's disease and has trouble moving around, so Mrs. Egebrecht helps her mother with her shower each day, makes sure she's fed and takes her on small excursions to the mall in a portable wheelchair. The routine includes occasionally reminding her mother of what day it is and where she's living.
Caring for an elderly parent is emotionally and mentally draining. There are diagnoses to decipher, housing issues to consider, health aides to vet and a raft of legal documents to complete. It can seem overwhelming, even when families are in complete agreement on how to care for an elderly relative. And often they are not.
Two years ago my father, then 83, became very ill. Until then, he had been living alone in a pleasant one-bedroom apartment on the Hudson River, an hour's drive from my home in Brooklyn.
After a couple of months in the hospital, it became clear that my dad, Harvey Alderman, could not return to solo living. He was fragile and forgetful, and there was no way he could keep track of the 14 or so pills he had to take each day.
Early detection is key to more effective treatment for Alzheimer's disease and other forms of cognitive impairment, and new research shows that a test developed at the University of Tennessee is more than 95 percent effective in detecting cognitive abnormalities associated with these diseases.
The test, called CST - for computerized self-test - was designed to be both effective and relatively simple for medical professionals to administer and for patients to take.
She burned her foot pouring boiling water over an ant hill in her driveway. She would wander for hours searching for aluminum cans. The effects of Alzheimer's disease had taken hold.
Minorities such as Terrazas are at greater risk for the degenerative disease, according to an Alzheimer's Association report released Tuesday. It found that African-Americans are about two times more likely and Hispanics are about 1.5 times more likely to develop Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia.
For years, a prevailing theory has been that one of the chief villains in Alzheimer's disease has no real function other than as a waste product that the brain never properly disposed of.
The material, a protein called beta amyloid, or A-beta, piles up into tough plaques that destroy signals between nerves. When that happens, people lose their memory, their personality changes and they stop recognizing friends and family.
On a cold, wet afternoon not long ago, Aron Reznick sat in the lounge of a home for the elderly here, his silver hair neatly combed, his memory a fog. He could not remember Thanksgiving dinner with his family, though when he was given a hint - "turkey" - it came back to him, vaguely, like a shadow in the moonlight.
People who say their lives have a purpose are less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease or its precursor, mild cognitive impairment, a new study suggests.
As the population ages and dementia becomes a more frequent diagnosis, there's increasing impetus to determine the causes of the disease, associated risk factors and how to prevent it, explained study co-author Dr. Aron S. Buchman, an associate professor in the department of neurological sciences at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.
Researchers at NYU School of Medicine have found that elevated cerebrospinal fluid levels of phosphorylated tau231 (P-tau231), a damaged tau protein found in patients with Alzheimer's disease, may be an early diagnostic biomarker for Alzheimer's disease in healthy adults.