Articles Tagged with dementia

matthew-lejune-716127-unsplash-copy-200x300If you are physically fit in older age, are you less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia? According to a recent article in The Washington Post, “physically fit women seem to live longer free of dementia.” Given that dementia often makes individuals more vulnerable to nursing home abuse, the Alzheimer’s Association reports, finding ways to prevent seniors from developing dementia in the first place could help to reduce the rate of elder abuse and neglect.

When does physical fitness need to start in order to reduce a woman’s likelihood of developing dementia? What should families in Valley Center know about the links between physical fitness, dementia, and the reduced risk of nursing home abuse or neglect?

New Research Shows That Physical Fitness in Middle Age can Prevent Dementia Years Later

toni-hukkanen-87089-copy-300x189Could Carlsbad residents with dementia see improvement in their condition by using an app for iPhones or iPads? According to a recent article in U-T San Diego, “a brain training game played on an iPad improves memory for those in the earliest stages of dementia.” The article cites a recent study conducted by scientists in Britain and published in the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology. Many nursing home residents in Southern California who become victims of nursing home abuse also suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. Could apps help to reduce some of the risks for elder abuse and neglect by improving conditions for dementia patients?

Study Addresses Episodic Memory

The study’s findings are particularly important in terms of episodic memory, which “is used to remember thing important for the day, but which can be forgotten after that.” For instance, a person might remember where she put her car keys or where she parked her car. The study introduced the memory exercise game app to 21 different people who have been diagnosed with amnestic mild cognitive impairment, in addition to 21 other individuals for control. This condition, amnestic mild cognitive impairment, often is “considered a transitional stage to actual dementia.” When a person has this condition, they experience “lapses of memory greater than typical with normal aging.”

rt_k9r80pya-jean-gerber-300x200While its effects may not be noticeable for years down the road, a new Alzheimer’s study could help to prevent nursing home abuse in San Marcos and other cities throughout the country. As the Alzheimer’s Association elucidates, elderly nursing home residents with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia often are subject to abuse and neglect. As such, if we can find a way to lower the rate of seniors who suffer from dementia, we might also then be able to lower the rate of nursing home abuse cases tied to Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. A new study is hoping to accomplish just that. According to a recent article in SFGate, a study on Alzheimer’s aims to prevent the disease before it begins.

The A4 Study Aims to Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

According to the article, Dr. Reisa Sperling, a researcher at Harvard Medical School who serves as the project director for the A4 Study, aims for it to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. What is the meaning behind the study’s name? It refers to “Anti-Amyloid Treatment in Asymptomatic Alzheimer’s.” Currently, there are more than 10,000 adults in the “Baby Boomer” generation who are entering into old age rapidly, and thus becoming at greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. As Dr. Sperling explains, “I have witnessed the devastating effects of this disease in my work as a neurologist, as a clinical researcher and, sadly, in my own family.” Now, Dr. Sperling is undertaking prevention trials through the A4 Study that are designed “to try to stop memory loss before it begins.”

503px-Paracetamol_acetaminophen_500_mg_pills_crop-1-252x300This past spring, a right-to-die law took effect in California, permitting residents of San Diego County who are terminally ill to make the decision to end their lives through doctor-prescribed medications. As an article from NBC News explained back in June 2016, California’s “End of Life Option Act” made the state the fifth in the nation “to create a legal process for patients to obtain aid in dying.”

While the law comes with many protections to prevent a situation in which a person takes life-ending drugs without making that choice for him or herself, numerous elderly safety advocates have voiced concerns about how the law could enable certain forms of elder abuse, particularly among patients with dementia. At the same time, however, some Californians think the law has not gone far enough to protect patients suffering from dementia. What do you need to know about the law and how it may impact elderly patients affected by Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia?

Understanding the Key Tenets of the End of Life Option Act

page1-424px-Looqi_polsband_productfoto.pdfCan nursing homes and assisted-living facilities in Chula Vista and Escondido do more to prevent wandering among dementia patients? According to a recent article in McKnight’s Senior Living, “wandering and elopement are among the oldest challenges senior living communities face.” While incidents of wandering often do not lead to any serious harm, in some cases, seniors who do not have proper supervision can sustain severe and even fatal injuries as a result of wandering from the facility. Typically, cases of wandering and elopement involve patients who are suffering from dementia.

Given that wandering often results from limited staffing that may rise to the level of nursing home neglect, certain innovators have begun to imagine ways in which technology might be able to help. As the article discusses, technological innovations, such as radio frequency and real-time location devices, as well as behavior-tracking tools, can allow facilities to track residents and to prevent them from wandering outside the facility.

Learning More About Statistics on Wandering and Elopement

PET_scan-normal_brain-alzheimers_disease_brainWe often read news stories about nursing home abuse and dementia patients, but are elders who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia at greater risk of elder abuse? According to a fact sheet from the University of California, Irvine’s Center of Excellence on Elder Abuse and Neglect, advocates generally agree that seniors who suffer from dementia “are thought to be at greater risk of abuse and neglect than those of the general elderly population.” What else should you know about dementia and its connection to nursing home abuse?

Growing Number of Americans with Dementia

As the fact sheet notes, the total number of elderly Americans is expected to grow substantially in the coming decades. As the total population of America’s seniors grows, the total population of elders with dementia will also increase. Currently, around 5.3 million seniors in our country have Alzheimer’s disease. Of those people, a little over 5 million are aged 65 or older, while about 200,000 people under the age of 65 suffer from this disease. By 2030, however, the Center predicts that approximately 7.7 million elders will have Alzheimer’s disease. Any by year 2050, that number will grow to around 16 million older adults with Alzheimer’s.