Discovery Could Lead to New Treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease

“One of the first signs of Alzheimer’s disease is the loss of synapses – the structures that connect neurons in the brain,” – Dr Vladimir Sytnyk.

Synapse loss is a hallmark of the early stages of Alzheimer’s. New research indicates that these brain cell connections are destroyed as Alzheimer’s disease spreads.

Alzheimer’s Reading Room

Synapse

A junction between two nerve cells, consisting of a minute gap across which impulses pass by diffusion of a neurotransmitter (see image above).

It is widely accepted that the synapse plays a role in the formation of memory.

The strength of two connected neural pathways is thought to result in the storage of information that results in memory.

__________________________________

Synapse discovery could lead to new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease

A team of researchers led by UNSW Australia scientists has discovered how connections between brain cells are destroyed in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease – work that opens up a new avenue for research on possible treatments for the degenerative brain disease like Alzeimer’s.

“Synapses are required for all brain functions, and particularly for learning and forming memories. In Alzheimer’s disease, this loss of synapses occurs very early on, when people still only have mild cognitive impairment, and long before the nerve cells themselves die. 

“We have identified a new molecular mechanism which directly contributes to this synapse loss – a discovery we hope could eventually lead to earlier diagnosis of the disease and new treatments.”

The team studied a protein in the brain called neural cell adhesion molecule 2, or NCAM2 – one of a family of molecules that physically connects the membranes of synapses and help stabilise these long lasting synaptic contacts between neurons.

  • Using post-mortem brain tissue from people with and without Alzheimer’s, the researchers discovered that synaptic NCAM2 levels in the part of the brain known as the hippocampus were low in those with Alzheimer’s disease.
  • This opens a new avenue for of NCAM2 in the brain; and as a result, could lead new treatments that could prevent pr delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

The research is published in the journal Nature Communications.

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Are Alzheimer’s Association Chapters Ready to Split from the National Organization?

The Alzheimer’s Association is trying to enact a merger agreement among its 54 affiliates that would transfer their operational authority and financial oversight to the national headquarters in Chicago.

Are Alzheimer’s Association Chapters Ready to Split from the National Organization?

The issue – give up local control to the national organization, or split from the Alzheimer’s Association and go it alone.

I just finished reading a excellent article in the San Diego Union-Tribune that does an excellent job of framing the issues.

Excerpts.

In recent months, affiliates have been scrutinizing their national parent organization’s tax filings.

Some have noted that the headquarter group’s spending on research grants has dropped from $28 million in 2007 to $13 million in 2013. 

They also have complained about the compensation for chief executive Harry Johns, which totaled $2.8 million in 2012. And they have criticized the growth of the national staff’s payroll — from $18 million in 2005 to more than $45 million in 2013

Local chapters send 40 percent of all undesignated donations to the national coffers. Donors can request that 100 percent of their contributions got to local causes, or they can specify that all of their money be dedicated to a particular program or service.

In San Diego the Alzheimer’s Association affiliate has a great deal at stake – including questions about the future of a special caregiver-support program it runs, a $1 million donation it received recently for training and outreach, and its leading role in a groundbreaking initiative that has united scientists, patient advocates, philanthropists and lawmakers in raising regional awareness of Alzheimer’s.

Given what we’ve seen from national, we’re not confident they could do justice to, or replicate, what we’re doing in San Diego,” John Nienstedt said.

What do you think?

Read a more in depth article on the issues

Thanks to Paul Sisson and the San Diego Union-Tribune for framing these issues for us.

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Original Source of this article: Alzheimer’s Reading Room , http://www.alzheimersreadingroom.com/

4 Ways to Find Help When You Don’t Know What to Do While Caring for Someone with Alzheimer’s

I often receive emails from caregivers asking for help or advice with the major problems they are facing each day.

3 Ways to Find Help When You Don't Know What to Do While Caring for Someone with Alzheimer's

Many times they are looking for some kind of caregiver support or programs that are available to help them care for a person living with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia.

Depending on where you live services and programs can vary widely. The only effective way to combat this is to go direct to the already existing agencies or non-profits who deal with problems every day.

Here are 3 suggestions.

1. Area Agency on Aging

In order to locate your local Area Agency on Aging go to this linkArea Agency on Aging

If you don’t know what to ask start this way. Ask if they have any caregiver support programs. When available these programs are really helpful to caregivers and are free of charge. I would suggest you check this out regardless of your current circumstance.

You can also ask if there are any specific programs designed to help elders living with Alzheimer’s. In some cases you might find that there is financial support available for Adult Day Services (adult day care). I highly recommend checking into this.

While caring for my mom, Dotty, I found that the AAA has a wealth of information at their finger tips. So this was always my number one go to call.

Please consider making contact with them and learning more about what they can and might be able to do for you.

2. National Institute on Health

The National Institute on Health (Alzheimer’s), and specifically, the Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral Center (ADEAR) offer a wealth of information for seniors and persons living with dementia.

You can visit the website; or, if you need help right now you call them direct on an 800 number that is provided on the website.

Here is a good example of the kinds of information you can find. Ever think about setting up an Advance Directive for you our you loved one? This 3 minute video is very informative. The video includes the use of the PULSE form. The video also alludes to a directive called  – Allow Natural Death – might be recognized by your hospital.

Advance directives are legal documents that allow you to spell out your decisions about end-of-life care ahead of time. They give you a way to tell your wishes to family, friends, and health care professionals and to avoid confusion later on.

3. Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers (ADRC)

There are a number of ADRCs located around the country.

If you live near one, I would strongly suggest you call them. If you are having a medical problem or behavioral problem with your loved one that seems our of the ordinary – I would suggest contacting the ADRC.

Most often the ADRC is attached to a major University. This means they have lots of collaboration between doctors, scientists, and the caregiver community.

It can’t hurt to call them and discuss any services or any research they are conducting on an ongoing basis. You might be surprised to learn they can help; and if they can’t, they might help send you in the right direction.

4. Hospice

I often receive emails asking me if I think it is time for Hospice. Usually, this is impossible for me to know because I am not on the scene, and also, because I am not a doctor.

Here is the deal. If you are thinking you might need Hospice it is time to call them direct. When you call you will find that they have a well experienced person that can talk to you, walk you through the process, and patiently answer every question you might have.

If they have an available service they will tell you, and tell you how to proceed.

I strongly recommend calling Hospice whether you need them today or not. They will educate you now, and when the times comes you will know what to do.

Local Hospices often offer informational seminars to educate the public and dispel myths about the role of Hospice in palliative care.

Custom Search Leading to Additional Information

Advance Directive

Hospice Care

Area Agency on Aging

ADRC

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Original Source of this article: Alzheimer’s Reading Room , http://www.alzheimersreadingroom.com/

How to Adapt the Caregiver Brain to Alzheimer’s and Dementia

If you open your mind, relax, and ask all the right questions you might be surprised to learn that the situation you find yourself in is very different than you are currently imagining.

How to Adapt Your Brain to Alzheimer's and Dementia

In order to deal with Alzheimer’s each and everyone of us who cares needs to adapt.

In our case, and for the most part, we are adapting to a previously unknown – Alzheimer’s disease.

Most of us start out in a state of denial; and often we are filled with a sense of hopelessness.

We have to deal with grief. After all, doesn’t the Alzheimer’s Association teach us that no one survives Alzheimer’s disease? If you accidentally buy into that myth, you might conclude the situation is hopeless. Many do.

Denial, grief, confusion, heartache, and the feeling it is hopeless. We start out caring from behind the eight ball.

All of these negative emotions and feelings can rob us of our ability to adapt.

There is hope. As humans we have the ability to adapt. We do it all the time over the course of our lives.

We move, we change jobs, we take care of children, and we deal with adversity and death. The list is longer but the message is the same, we have the ability to adapt and adapt we do.

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer’s Reading Room

Some of us, as Alzheimer’s caregivers, put up roadblocks.

We repeat the same nagging complaints over and over. We stubbornly cling to the past. We engage in thinking that keeps us frustrated and blocks us from moving forward.

Most importantly, we fail to look at Alzheimer’s from the other persons point of view. We fail to look at the disease from the perspective of the person who is deeply forgetful.

Lets start with a simple example. The majority of AD patients follow their caregiver around. Frankly, most of the deeply forgetful can’t stand to have you out of their sight.

The only real exceptions to this rule is when they are engaged in an activity. Like doing a puzzle, or talking to a repeat parrot.

Caregivers often say something like, “I can’t get a moments peace, s/he follows me all over the place”.

The caregiver complains or maybe vents. Over and over and over and over. Same thing.

Perhaps if you look beyond the obvious you will be able to adapt. Normally to look beyond the obvious you have to ask yourself a question that begins with a word like, Why?

Why do the deeply forgetful follow us all over the place, call out our name when they can’t see us, and get mean spirited when we leave them alone?

Why?

Why does the person living with dementia follow us around, ask where we are when they can’t see us, and ask repeatedly, when we are not there,  when are we coming back. Simple really.

They rely on us.

They need us so they can stay attached to the world.  The world is a scary place for the deeply forgetful at times. They just can’t sort things out on their own. So they look for the one thing that is always constant, always tangible

The deeply forgetful fear one thing more than any other thing —  they fear that the one person they can rely on will leave them. Leave them all alone. 

Forget about them.

Try asking yourself this. Is it a bad thing that a person who is deeply forgetful will follow you around all the time?

Or, is it a good thing that they love you so much, and trust you more than life itself? 

They need you.

In order to successfully adapt you need to use your brain. Ironic isn’t it? They can no longer use their brain effectively, so they rely on you to use your brain.

If you complain about the same thing over and over and over – stop it. Instead ask yourself, why isn’t what I am doing working?

Stand back, assess the situation. Ask yourself: Why, How, When, What, and Where.

It might not be easy when you start, but once you start asking the questions the answers will come.

You will adapt.

The deeply forgetful person is trying to build a bond with you. They won’t stop trying. Why fight it? Why not accept they need you, love you, trust you; and most often, you are the only one they will trust and rely on.

It is a given really.

Open your brain. Look at both sides of the coin. You will likely come to the conclusion that there is more to the situation or experience than you are currently imagining.

Stop looking at the deeply forgetful as if they are the antagonist.

If you open your mind, relax, and ask all the right questions you might be surprised to learn that the situation you find yourself in is very different than you are currently imagining.

You just might see things in a new and different light.

Your brain has the innate ability to adapt.

I’ll suggest that you first consider that the person who is deeply forgetful needs you. I’ll suggest that you make a concerted effort to smile at the person who is deeply forgetful over and over each day.

When they start smiling back you’ll be on the path of adaptability. You might even be delighted.

Instead of complaining, you might start laughing when you tell your stories. Odd isn’t it, how the same exact behavior that drove you crazy might make you laugh if you open your mind.

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Bob DeMarco  is the Founder of the Alzheimer’s Reading Room (ARR). Bob is the Founder of the Alzhemer’s Reading Room. The ARR Knowledge Base contains more than 5,000 articles. Bob lives in Delray Beach, FL.

Original content Alzheimer’s Reading Room
Original Source of this article: Alzheimer’s Reading Room , http://www.alzheimersreadingroom.com/

7 Ways to Cope with Alzheimer’s Patient Agitation and Agression

Studies indicate that agitation or aggression is seen in up to 80 percent of Alzheimer’s patients.

I think about Alzheimer’s, dementia, agitation, and meanness quite often.

Coping with Alzheimer's Agitation | Alzheimer's Reading Room

I think I looked like this on some of the days while I was taking care of my mom.
Agitation or aggression can lead to an Alzheimer’s patient being placed in a nursing home, or a specialized memory care facility.

Placement of this type can lead to the use of pharmacological agents (antipsychotic medications) to “control the patient”.

There is clear cut clinical evidence that the use of antipsychotics can increase risk of death in dementia patients.

After reading the emails and comments for years, talking to people throughout the Alzheimer’s community, and relating back to research on the problem of agitation and aggression, it seems to me that many of these behaviors can be treated without drugs, and possibly in the home environment.

Example number one.

It took me years to discover that Dotty was suffering frequent urinary tract infections. Her core temperature was 97.6. So when we went to the doctor and the nurse got a reading of 98.4, the perception was that Dotty was fine and dandy. It was only by accident that we discovered the problem. I asked our doctor to check my mother’s hydration level. The results showed that she was hydrated; the result also showed that Dotty had a urinary tract infection.

Dotty suffered from silent urinary tract infections. Or, lets put it this way. She never said to me, I’m sick, or I think I have a “bladder infection”.

As it turned out, I learned to take Dotty’s temperature frequently. Subsequently, we caught 7-8 urinary tract infections that would not have been detected otherwise.

It is now clear to me that two things happened when Dotty had a urinary tract infections.

She got agitated. Or, sometimes very dull like “not there”.

By checking her temperature daily we caught these infections quickly, long before they worsened, and before Dotty became meaner than a junkyard dog.

However, it is not unusual for Alzheimer’s patients to end up in an emergency room more or less, “out of it” as a result of UTI that goes undetected.

The “out of it” and a big spike in temperature leads to the emergency room visit. At that point the infection gets diagnosed.

The problem here.

Frequent, or strong infections can lead to memory loss. 

Memory loss that might never be regained. Infections in dementia patients can lead to hallucinations, agitation, and aggression.

Read the previous sentence closely and several times.

The single best way to prevent urinary tract infections is with frequent toileting.

In other words, don’t ever go longer than 90 minutes without “prompting a pee”. 

You don’t want someone sitting around with even a little bit of pee in their briefs or panties. This is the breading ground for E Coli.

Problem behaviors with dementia patients are more prevalent than most of us realize, this certainly included me.

At times Dotty became

Meaner than a junkyard dog.

Most people assume that Dotty was a model Alzheimer’s patient. Happy and sweet all the time.

Well she was a model Alzheimer’s patient for sure. Mean, confused, angry, agitated, and you might have called her Doctor NO at times.

We had to work through problems like the above one at a time.

Like I already said, when AD first set in, Dotty was meaner than a junkyard dog. This lasted for about 3 years. The first 15 months was the period of greatest burden.

Then we finally make it far enough along the path called Joy that the burden began to lesson.

Who knows? Maybe Dotty and I just decided to call a truce.

It now seems to me that I stumbled on the long term solution to mean behavior by accident.

Example number 2.

My first important decision was exercise in a gym.

So let me ask you, if you have an agitated or aggressive patient are they getting “real” exercise everyday? Are they engaging in activities? Are they living life?

Example number 3.

Is your agitated or aggressive patient living in a very fertile environment? Is the patient receiving constant stimulation via conversation and socialization? Or, when they are mean, do you leave them all alone while you “stew” about it.

Well I stewed about so many things I can’t remember them all. Thank goodness.

Example number 4.

Have you tried introducing music into the environment? Most cable systems now have music channels.

Example number 5.

Are you making sure that the agitated or aggressive patient is getting heavy doses of bright light daily?

If you have an agitated or aggressive patient, are there patterns to the behavior?

Does the bad behavior come near the same time of day? In near darkness or darkness?

After they have been ignored for a long period of time? 

Example number 6.

Do you go out and leave your loved one alone for hours at a time? This by the way, is one of the biggest causes of agitation and meanness. You can’t leave a person living with dementia home alone.

Example number 7.

Are you giving your loved one constant positive communication? Touching them? Holding their hand? Reassuring them with your words?

Keep in mind, dementia patients can’t remember, so they need more. More attention, more positive reinforcement, and more touch.

If you have an agitated or aggressive patient you can try and change the environment by doing all of the above.

You might also consider giving them a hug, or putting your arm around them when they are mean or agitated. Try keeping your mouth shut while you are at it. This is called nonverbal communication.

If you try the above, and try hard over an extended period of time you might be able to avoid the admission to a nursing “home”.

And, get on the path to Joy.

I call all of this the full court press which is a basketball term. In other words, the best offense is sometimes the best defense.

Have you tried the full court press that I described above?

Agitated or not, I promise you, try the above and you might very well get a positive outcome that you could have never anticipated.

I did.

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Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer’s Reading Room (ARR). Bob is a recognized expert, writer, speaker,consultant, and problem solver in the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Community worldwide. The ARR Knowledge Base contains more than 5,000 articles. Bob lives in Delray Beach, FL.

Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer’s Reading Room
Original Source of this article: Alzheimer’s Reading Room , http://www.alzheimersreadingroom.com/

Rewiring My Brain and Stepping into Alzheimer’s World

Once you start to understand how things work in Alzheimer’s World you get calm and comfortable.

Once you get calm and comfortable you give off a better “vibe” to someone that has Alzheimer’s.

Rewiring My Brain and Stepping into Alzheimer's World | Alzheimer's Reading Room

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer’s Reading Room

I would find a new way to communicate with my mother who was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

I wrote that on my da Vinci pad in 2004. This was at the same time I was coming to another conclusion, something had to change and that something was me.

I did not perceived the changes in communication as being difficult. After all, I had been studying communication and decision making all the way back to college days, and ever since. I figured some practice and I would get the hang of it.

What I did not immediately perceive was how difficult it would be to change all the things I had learned over the course of my life.

For example, I had to learn how NOT to feel bad when my mother said something mean spirited to me.

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I knew consciously that every time my mother said something “mean” to me, she didn’t mean it. I knew this because she never said any of those things to me before dementia started affecting her brain. Her ability to think and feel.

So, I knew it was Alzheimer’s that was causing her to be so “mean”.

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Nevertheless, when Dotty said something mean, and even though I knew she didn’t mean it, I still felt sad, angry, and often snapped back at her. In other words, I reacted the way I would react to anyone that treated me in that way.

All I can say is, Wowie Zowie. It is very hard and very difficult to change patterns of behavior that you learned over 50 years.

I had to rewire my brain.

I decided it would be easier if I could put myself in a new place. This is why I invented Alzheimer’s World. Instead of trying to relearn my entire life, I decide I would start a brand new life, a second parallel life.

My new second life would reside within the confines of Alzheimer’s World. In Alzheimer’s World all the rules, feelings, and methods of communication would be different.

I started developing some ideas about how I would communicate effectively with someone that couldn’t remember they were mean to me, and really couldn’t remember my “too long” explanations of this and that.

In order to get control of my emotions I knew I had to move fast and seamlessly into Alzheimer’s World. I had to get there before the anger came up. Anger, even though I knew I shouldn’t be angry.

At first, I was having trouble getting to Alzheimer’s World on time.

I came up with an idea that worked. As soon as the craziness started, I would take one giant step to the left. An actual physical step to the left. As I made this step, I would tell myself that I was going into Alzheimer’s World.

It took a while, but it worked. My brain was rewired. More or less segmented into two parts, real world and Alzheimer’s World. Over time I learned to separate one from the other.

Once I learned how to step seamlessly into Alzheimer’s World something wonderful started to happen. Dotty finally, after a few years, stopped saying all those mean and nasty things to me.

She started telling people, Bobby is a good boy.

Here is the best part. The better I became at communicating in Alzheimer’s World, the sweeter and more cooperative Dotty became. Not that the world is perfect. Dotty is still Dotty and she can still be a big pain in the butt.

You see, once I accepted that I needed to communicate and interact with Dotty in her new world she became happier and easier to deal with.

Now, we didn’t leave the real world. Alzheimer’s World is a combination of the two worlds. In Alzheimer’s World it is understood that the person can’t remember the now. They can’t remember the sentence before this one.

In Alzheimer’s World it is perfectly fine if someone asks the same question 20 times in a row. This is how communication goes in Alzheimer’s World. In Alzheimer’s World it is perfectly fine if a person says NO 50 times a day. NO does not have the same meaning in Alzheimer’s World. In fact, in my opinion NO has no meaning in Alzheimer’s World. Just think, duh.

Once you start to understand how things work in Alzheimer’s World you get calm and comfortable. Once you get calm and comfortable you give off a better “vibe” to someone that has Alzheimer’s. If you can get to the “vibe”, the person suffering from Alzheimer’s becomes calmer and feels more secure.

Let’s put it this way. If you were sent to live somewhere where all the people were purple and they spoke so fast you couldn’t understand a word they were saying — how would you feel?

If you felt like all the purple people didn’t like you — how would you feel all day long?

If you were stuck in this purple world and couldn’t figure out how to get out, and couldn’t understand how you got there in the first place — how would you feel?

Alzheimer’s World can be a wonderful place. In fact, most Alzheimer’s patients are very sweet once you get to know them. They are very appreciative.

Keeping stepping to the left. You’ll find the door to Alzheimer’s World.

This article is a repeat of an article that was published previously. It ranks in the top 25 most frequently read articles on the ARR, and has been widely shared via on Google+ and Facebook.

Original content the Alzheimer’s Reading Room
Original Source of this article: Alzheimer’s Reading Room , http://www.alzheimersreadingroom.com/

Alzheimer’s Disease Tip, The Importance of Bright Light

I often get asked by Alzheimer’s caregivers for advice, insight and tips. I’ve been asked in person, via email or by the media so many times that I narrowed my list down to five recommendations.

The importance of Bright light in dementia care.

Recently, I was asked in six different radio interviews why we had so much success fighting Alzheimer’s disease. In the last seven years I have developed a series of things that we do daily to combat the effects of Alzheimer’s disease.

My list of five recommendations were developed as I worked with Dotty, and as I observed the positive effects of each of these tips. These five things make a difference in the quality of life that Dotty lives each day. As many of you know that have been with us for a while — a dramatic positive effect on Dotty’s ability to communicate and live her life.

Number five on my list is the importance of bright light. I take Dotty into bright light every day. I believe this is imperative, important, and that it helps her to be more there.

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More than half of the subscribers to this website are new in the last six months (we are growing fast). So I’ll give you some background first.

Most people that have known Dotty and me for a long time are often surprised to see how Dotty is doing. Even though Dotty is in the moderate to severe stage of Alzheimer’s disease she is still able to live her life. We live our life one day at time, and we live our life the way we did before Alzheimer’s disease. We choose to do this many years ago.

Keep in mind, Dotty is 94 years old and was officially diagnosed 6 years ago. I now believe she was at the minimum mild cognitively impaired for 10 years.

A couple of weeks ago, Carole Larkin remarked to me that she was surprised that Dotty could still speak full sentences. I think this is explained in part by the Alzheimer’s medication and in part by what we do each day.

________________________________________
Keep in mind, I am not a doctor. I am an Alzheimer’s caregiver and I am an observer.

As it turns out, my education and background made me ideally suited to observe behavior and to look for solutions to problems that most Alzheimer’s caregivers face. Since I am a full time caregiver, I had the time to research, test, and implement my ideas.

Early on I made a simple observation — Dotty will sit in dim light or dark light and read. I suppose you could say she either prefers low light, or she just doesn’t know she is sitting in the dim.

Here is how I first started thinking about “bright light.” We would go to the doctor for our appointment and most often Dotty would be dull and “not really there” when we left home.

When we arrived at the doctors’ office it was not unusual for us to sit in the waiting room for 20 minutes or more. The waiting room is well lit.

The next step occurred when the nurse would check out Dotty and ask me questions after we were put into an examination room. This room is well lit and has windows that allow the sunlight to come in.

It was not unusual for Dotty to ask me several times while we were going through this process if we could go home. You probably heard that one also.

By the time the doctor would come in to check on Dotty her mood would be improving. It is not unusual for Dotty to start smiling by the time the doctor enters the room.

This transition takes place between the time we leave home and the time the doctor finally sees Dotty. Always more than an hour.

One day I said to the our doctor, I wish I could bring her here every day. Her mood really improves when we are here.

One day after the doctor visit I was sitting around thinking about the change in Dotty, the light bulb went on in my head. Light bulb, ironic huh?

I jumped on the Internet and started to read up on bright light. I learned that bright light can have a positive effect on persons suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. I also learned it can have a positive effect on all of us.

This one was a no brainier. Dotty needed bright light and so did I.

________________________________________
I decided that I wanted to create an experience that was very similar to what we were doing when we went for a doctor appointment.

The elements: bright light, some exercise, people, and lots of communication. Simple communication. The kind of communication that people engage in every day.

Those of you that know us well know that if you call me in the late afternoon or early evening (depending on time of year) you won’t get me.

The reason is simple. I take Dotty out into the bright light every day. Mostly I take her outdoors. Sitting in the car riding gets Dotty a good dose of bright light (we live in south Florida).

Sometimes we get out of the car and sit around in the sun and have a coffee or an ice cream cone. We also go to the pool as often as we can — excellent source of bright light.

When we get out of the car I am also looking for bright light. Walmart is an excellent source of bright light (indoor bright light). When we go to Walmart, I get Dotty to drive the motorized cart. Walmart is good because the isles are wide. It is really a “hoot” watching Dotty tool around in the cart. See — Walmart and this Alzheimer’s Caregiver.

This actually accomplishes three things on my list of things to do every day with Dotty: exercise (walking from the lot to the store and back), socialization (get Dotty around other people, hopefully someone stops and talks to her), and a big dose of bright light.

This tip is number five on my list. It is important.

I will be writing about each of the five things we do to accomplish one simple mission — keep Dotty attached to the world and bring out the “more there” that is inside most persons suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

Bright light every day — an important part of Alzheimer’s caregiving.

Related content.

Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer’s Reading Room

Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer’s Reading Room
Original Source of this article: Alzheimer’s Reading Room , http://www.alzheimersreadingroom.com/

Finding Joy in Alzheimer’s Care – New Hope for Caregivers

Marie Marley and Dr. Daniel C. Potts published a new book – Finding Joy in Alzheimer’s: New Hope for Caregivers.

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The forward of the book was written by Maria Shriver.

Here it is and excerpt:

“Alzheimer’s” and “hope” aren’t usually words people put into the same sentence. But there is a lot of hope.  

Unlike most books on the topic, which focus on the difficulties of caring for those with the illness, Finding Joy in Alzheimer’s: New Hope for Caregivers shines a light on the uplifting and inspiring moments you can experience and share while caring for someone with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

This book shows those still dealing how to come to terms with their loved one’s condition so that they can free their mind and heart to embrace and enjoy the time they spend together.

As a child of Alzheimer’s – my father, Sargent Shriver died of the disease in 2011 – I know first-hand how important it is to find moments of grace and joy even while the person you love is losing control of his or her own mind.

Marie Marley is the award-winning author of ‘Come Back Early Today: A Memoir of Love, Alzheimer’s and Joy’ and along with Daniel C. Potts, MD, FAAN – ‘Finding Joy in Alzheimer’s: New Hope for Caregivers.’ Her website contains a wealth of information for Alzheimer’s caregivers.

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Original Source of this article: Alzheimer’s Reading Room , http://www.alzheimersreadingroom.com/

Thanksgiving Stories – Coaxing Memories Out of the Fog of Dementia

Thanksgiving is often a difficult time for persons living with dementia and their families. Does it have to be this way?

By Alzheimer’s Reading Room

Thanksgiving Stories - Coaxing Memories Out of the Fog of Dementia

Caring for a loved one with dementia “is really all about communication,” says Anne Basting, professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

I wanted to bring this wonderful and fascinating story that appeared in the Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel to your attention and awareness.

Carol was frantic. 

“I simply can’t fix Thanksgiving dinner anymore,” she told Charlie. “I’ve got to look up a bunch of stuff — meals I’ve been doing for years.” 

Charlie tried to reassure his wife. 

“We’re all getting old,” he joked, a bit concerned. “We all have those problems; don’t worry about it. I’ll make Thanksgiving dinner!”

Trying to be helpful, he was taking something away from Carol that she had cherished. But after 40-plus years of caring for home and family, she simply couldn’t pull together Thanksgiving without his help.

That was nearly a decade ago.

Follow the link below to continue reading …

More Thanksgiving Day Related Articles

1. 50 Tips for a Successful Thanksgiving and Holiday Season

2. Thanksgiving Dilemma, Should Mom Attend?


3. Thanksgiving Postscript, If You Couldn’t See Your Mashed Potatoes, You Probably Wouldn’t Eat Them


4. Answers to Your Questions About Alzheimer’s and Dementia


5. 10 Things a Person Living with Dementia Would Tell You If They Could


6. Celebrating Thanksgiving with ‘Generation Alzheimer’s

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Original Source of this article: Alzheimer’s Reading Room , http://www.alzheimersreadingroom.com/