The warm weather is finally upon us after a long and harsh Winter. While we are all eager to get outside and enjoy the sunshine, there's something important to keep in mind when it comes to our senior citizens.
For many years, researchers have known that the buildup of amyloid plaques in the brain is heavily associated with Alzheimer's Disease. These plaques are abnormal buildups of sticky, toxic proteins between neurons, causing damage to the neurons over time. Until recently, researchers did not know what caused these plaques to accumulate, only suspecting that an enzyme called beta-secretase 1 (BACE1) was the culprit.
As of 2017, there are an estimated 47 Million people in the world living with dementia. As dementia is not considered a normal part of the aging process, it is even more alarming that the number of people living with the disease is expected to triple by the year 2050. It is a concern for all people, so it's important to understand what it is and how it is diagnosed.
When your parents or in-laws are getting on in age, there is a multitude of difficult decisions to consider. One common decision is to have the aging adult move in with you in order to assist their needs and have peace of mind that they are safe. As we grow increasingly dissatisfied with the option of placement in a nursing facility, accommodation in the home seems the much better option. when doing so, there are a few things to keep in mind in order to ensure a smooth transition and lasting success with this arrangement.
Probiotics, like those contained in yogurt, have been gaining in popularity in recent times. As our bodies contain more bacteria than our own cells, they're an important part of maintaining health, aging gracefully, and improving our energy levels. Now we're discovering that there's a component that is just as important as making sure we take in healthy bacteria - prebiotics, or the foods that the good bacteria thrive on in our digestive tracts.
As we approach the New Year, now is the time that we reflect, learn, and celebrate new beginnings. While "New Year's resolutions" may carry the stigma of lasting only a few weeks or days, they're an important part of progressing in life and making changes - the more realistic and possible, the better.
Indoor air quality is something that affects us all. In developed countries, we tend to spend approximately 90% of our time indoors. That's a lot of time exposed to air that tends to be five times more polluted than outdoor air. Dust, mold, gaseous chemicals, and pathogens circulate throughout our dwellings and compromise our health. It's a concern for everyone, but especially those with compromised immune systems and the elderly.
The holidays can be a combination of all things joyful and stressful. As we as Caregivers approach the holiday season, it's important to keep in mind that the impending stress can be mitigated by taking certain proactive steps throughout the process.
While the everyday tasks of daily living can become more difficult or near impossible for older adults with dementia, it becomes increasingly important for them to feel a sense of capability and accomplishment, no matter how big or small.
According to the National Council on Aging, 1 in 10 persons aged 60+ experience elder abuse to some degree. One study estimated that only 1 in 14 cases of abuse gets reported. Of those who abuse elders, about 60% are actually family members - either the children or spouse of the abused. When considering care options for your loved one, it's important to educate yourself on the signs of abuse and what to do about it.
Melva Sherwood, RN