dementia

Sleep Disorder Linked to Parkinson’s, Dementia

Posted on 04/23/2014 by | AARP Blog Author | Comments

Brain Health | Bulletin TodayThrashing about while you’re asleep may be a sign of something more troubling than mere restlessness:  It could be a predictor of brain disease. A new study suggests that 80 to 90 percent of people who suffer from Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder will eventually develop Parkinson’s or other brain diseases. What’s REM sleep behavior disorder?  It’s a condition that causes people to act out vivid, intense, even violent dreams. People who have it often yell, punch and kick …

Talking (and Listening) to People With Dementia

Posted on 04/21/2014 by | Volunteering | Comments

Caregiving | VolunteeringI talk with my friend Arthur twice a week, and each conversation starts the same way. “Hi Arthur, it’s Laura.” “Laura, dawling. Whe-ah are you?” “I’m in Ohio.” “You’re still the-ah?” It’s been almost 10 months since my boyfriend, Joe, and I left New York. “Yep, still here! Grad school is going really well, and it’s great to be close to family. It’s hard being far from friends, though. I wish we were tasting olives together right now.” >> Sign up …

Grandmas Who Babysit Stay Sharp, But Don’t Overdo It

Posted on 04/17/2014 by | Personal Health and Well-being | Comments

Bulletin Today | Personal HealthBabysitting the grandkids can help boost Grandma’s brainpower, but doing it too much may have the opposite effect — possibly because Grandma is feeling resentful, new research finds. The study of 120 Australian grandmothers, ages 57 to 68, wanted to determine whether minding grandchildren played a role in helping postmenopausal women stay sharp as they aged. Previous research had shown that staying involved in social activities with friends or relatives helps improve cognitive function in older adults. >> Sign up …

She Was His North Star

Posted on 04/1/2014 by | Aging, Home & Family Expert | Comments

CaregivingHis shoulders slump and his head bows as if his very life force has been suddenly drawn out of him. His face reflects the pain and confusion that his mind and heart are toiling with, struggling to grasp a wisp of reality and understand that the impossible has indeed happened. “I just can’t believe it; I can’t fathom it,” he says. “Are you telling me the truth? She’s not available anymore?” This happens every time my dad asks about my …

Are You a Caregiver? Consider an Adult Day Service

Posted on 03/25/2014 by | Caregiving | Comments

Bulletin Today | CaregivingIf Mom or Dad has dementia, using adult day services (ADS) just twice a week can reap surprising psychological and physical benefits for family caregivers. Yes, caregivers. According to a new Pennsylvania State University study, ADS can reduce caregivers’ emotional distress and may even protect against illness. It turns out that a hormone in the body produced by the adrenal gland, DHEA-S, gets depleted when you’re under chronic stress — and caregiving is unquestionably stressful.  The study suggests that ADS probably gives …

Should You Be Screened for Dementia?

Posted on 03/25/2014 by | AARP Blog Author | Comments

Brain Health | Bulletin TodayShould older adults be routinely screened for Alzheimer’s disease or memory problems? Maybe, maybe not. A government panel says there’s not yet enough data to recommend either for or against it. The panel’s uncertainty reflects the complexity of the issue at a time when scientists are progressing much faster in their ability to diagnose Alzheimer’s than in their ability to treat it. This news is especially relevant in light of the recent discovery of a blood test that can predict with 90 …