When the World Disappears

A few years ago, I wrote about a lawyer in his 40s who was in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s Disease. We met for lunch at an oceanside restaurant  and watched a restless surge of waves breaking in eternal conversation with the man about to lose his history. “It’s all fading away,” he said to me. And indeed it was. Names and faces were vanishing in what he described as a blue mist that was ever deepening around him, allowing …

Financial Planning for People With Dementia

As boomers move into their late 60s and beyond, the country is likely to experience a growing number of individuals with dementia who have difficulty managing their financial affairs. This means financial advisers must be trained to recognize the early signs of cognitive impairment among clients and then plan for deteriorating mental health that may occur over many years. In addition, policymakers must bolster protections against financial exploitation to protect older consumers with dementia. >> 10 Items Where Coupons Save …

Hot Times: How Summer Heat Affects Caregiving

The dog days of summer can complicate caregiving. For my 90-year-old dad, whose progressing Alzheimer’s disease makes him sensitive to extremes in temperature, the typical 110-degree Phoenix weather is too hot to go outside, but an overly air-conditioned room is too cold. The result for my father is low motivation, appetite and activity levels that aren’t good for his health. Here are some of the creative ways I use to keep up with my dad’s health care, socialization and exercise …

Building Family: How Guardianship Can Create Community

The Post-it note on the box said, “Little things. Wanna look?” I found it in my grandparents’ dining room, tucked alongside the candles and platters they used on special occasions. At that point, my grandmother, whom I called Dibi, had lived with Alzheimer’s disease for a few years. Ever the charmer, Dibi could hide it well, but those of us who knew her knew the battle was just beginning. I love to think about that box and imagine what was …

Major New Study Tests Drug to Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

In what some experts are calling the most important Alzheimer’s research of the decade, scientists at 61 medical centers across the country and elsewhere have launched a groundbreaking study to test whether an experimental new medication can protect healthy older adults from the memory loss and brain damage caused by the disease.  “Our best chance of really changing the disease is to start treatment before people have symptoms,” said lead researcher Reisa Sperling, professor in neurology at Harvard Medical School and director of the …

Calling All Cynics: Your Mistrust Is Bad for Your Brain

If you’re a cynic, you’ll probably disregard this, but researchers say that cynical mistrust will triple your risk of developing dementia. Scoff all you want, but researchers in Finland who tested 1,449 older adults (average age: 71) found that highly cynical people were three times more likely to develop dementia than those with a more trusting, optimistic personality, according to a study published today in the journal Neurology. In other words, “your personality may affect your brain health,” explained lead …