Tag: dementia

Niki Barr Talks About Myerberg’s New Brain Fitness Class

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For the past five years, Niki Barr has worked at the Edward A. Myerberg Center as a personal trainer for older adults.

Planning for the Holidays With Your Aging Loved One

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It’s holiday season, and it’s time to start thinking about how to include mom, dad and grandma and grandpa into your plans.

Top Stories This Week: Tragic Discovery of Man’s Body in Harbor, Charles Barkley Angers Crowd in East Baltimore, Camden Yards Gets LED Lights

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Our most-read story this week was the sad report of a man’s body being found on Thursday in the harbor near Fells Point. Police were quickly able to identify it as Michael Bagley, a 23-year-old Baltimore resident who went missing about a block away in the neighborhood 12 days earlier. Bagley attended high school at Loyola Blakefield prep school in Towson and graduated from Loyola University Maryland here in Baltimore earlier this year.

Here were the other most well-read posts during the week of Nov. 26-Dec. 2:

The Journey of Dementia

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My sister and I had traveled home to give my brother a break.  We were with my mother at her primary care physician’s, technically a licensed nurse practitioner whose manner is part game show host, part private investigator.  We all love her.  After the good news –physically Mom was in top form — Lynne shifted gears, getting to the real reason we were there.

Taking the Keys Away From Your Aging Parents

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Have mom or dad come dangerously close to getting into an accident recently? If so, it may be time to have another one of those “talks.”

When and How to Talk About Memory Loss

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Have mom or dad begun forgetting things? If so, it could be a sign of a larger issue, such as Alzheimer’s or dementia. It’s natural to forget things here or there, but if it begins happening often, consider taking notes. Keeping a detailed log can illustrate if there is a problem. You can also present your findings to a doctor to ask for their input or use it to help persuade your loved one there may be a problem.

Talking to Mom About an Assisted Living Residence

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Very few seniors want to leave the homes where they may have been living for decades, but as their age advances, the necessity of doing so may increase until the issue can no longer be ignored.

Proprietor: Paula Sotir of CarePatrol

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Moving homes is nearly always challenging – it’s a process full of difficult decisions and exhausting logistics. For older people moving into independent, assisted or memory care living facilities, the process can be especially tough. Paula Sotir, BSN, MGA, CSA, and her company CarePatrol, can help.

Lisa Vogel Explores The Guilt Game – Are You Doing Enough for Your Aging Parents?

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If you have children, no doubt you have experienced parental guilt. Loosely defined, it’s the feeling of angst that comes with knowing that you have not been the best possible parent and that your child will be permanently damaged because of it. Today, that type of guilt is taking the backseat to a different kind of “parental” guilt–the overwhelming feeling that you have not done enough for your aging parents or cannot be with them in their final months or days.shutterstock_57629194-1

Both types can be consuming and leave you exhausted and miserable.  Unfortunately, there is no beating the guilt game.  When it comes to your parents, it is difficult to reconcile their needs with the demands of your own life.  If you have an ounce of love for your parents, you will feel the guilt that comes with the constant balancing act required to keep them as happy and healthy as possible. That’s human nature. Just remember, you don’t have to succumb to the guilt, just stop fighting it and look for an upside.

These are givens: Your visits will never be long enough, and your phone calls will never be frequent enough. Do what you can to remain in contact given your hectic work and home schedule and congratulate yourself for doing what you can.

Dementia and illness can make even the most pleasant person irritable and demanding.  Caretakers and loved ones often feel underappreciated and frustrated with the elderly parent. Those feelings are normal, and it helps to talk about them from time to time with other family members, friends, or even your parent.

Acknowledge that no one wants to be a burden to their children, and your parents never intended to put you in this situation.  On both sides of the fence, parents and adult children feel guilty that the situation is beyond anyone’s control and cannot be fixed. Sometimes there is very little to be done to improve their lives other than be sure your loved one is comfortable and surrounded by people who truly care about their well being.

Lisa Vogel is the owner of The Lisa Vogel Agency, a home health care agency providing custodial care on a live-in or hourly basis for clients who require long-term care, rehabilitation care, or hospice care. Learn more about to relieve your parental guilt and ensure your loved ones are well taken care of by contacting the Lisa Vogel Agency at 410-363-7770.

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THE LISA VOGEL AGENCY

10401 STEVENSON RD. STEVENSON, MD 21153 410-363-7770 • F: 410-363-7771

Brain Implant May Help Us Remember Longer

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Researchers at Wake Forest University and the University of Southern California have created a brain implant that has been proven to restore lost memory data and to improve recall of fresh information…in lab rats. Though it’ll be a long while before the smart device is ready for human use, this study equals potentially brilliant news for people with dementia and those who care for them.

In a series of experiments, as reported in The NYTimes last week, Sam A. Deadwyler (at Wake Forest) trained rats to remember which of two identical handles to pull to obtain drinking water. Without the memory implant, which is analogous to healthy brain tissue, the rats struggled; with it, they scored the sip.

“Though still a long way from being tested in humans, the implant demonstrates for the first time that a cognitive function can be improved with a device that mimics the firing patterns of neurons,” writes wonderful Benedict Carey, the regular medical and science reporter who makes the most complex information accessible to English majors.

Reading about this inspiring study, I imagine a better version of our world, in which my boyfriend’s mother, who suffers from early dementia, can remain in her beloved house, rather than relocating to an assisted living center–something she very much fears. Perhaps she can continue to feed her patio squirrels their peanuts and acorns, remember how to prepare her Banquet frozen dinners, dish her cat’s tuna, and work her elaborate remote control. Like all of us, she never forgets how much she likes hanging out at home. Here’s hoping the implant can, sooner rather than later, help people dwell years longer in familiar comfort.

Would you pursue advanced technology to help your elderly parent–or yourself, for that matter–live peacefully at home additional months or years?

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