One of the joys of retirement is the ability to travel without worrying about missing work. Now you can visit some of those places you worried about missing when you were tied down to a job, and not worry about safety.
Besides the toothbrush and travel alarm clock, there are many things a senior must consider before locking up the house and leaving your worries behind. For example, you don’t want to leave your medications and important papers behind. Here are some tips to help your vacation go as smoothly as possible.
Working Out the Best Workout Plan for Dementia
Exercise is one of those things that usually finds its way onto your list of New Year’s resolutions, then eventually gets lost. We think of the benefits exercise has for the body, whether it be maintaining our health or recovering from illness or accident. When a person has dementia, we might think exercise and activity would be wasted on someone who has limited responsibility and responsiveness, and perhaps little time left to enjoy life, such as it is. But that is far from the truth.
Exercise and activity benefit the mind as well as the body, especially for someone afflicted with dementia. After all, a dementia patient is still a person with a body and soul that need stimulation and training. A well-planned and well-managed exercise routine can increase the quality of life of your loved one by providing them with pleasure and purpose. It can also help when dealing with challenging behaviors.
Exercise and activity don’t necessarily mean hiking down to the local fitness club or cluttering up the house with barbells and designer sneakers; a little common sense and advice from a medical professional can start you and your loved one on that path to purpose and pleasure.
Where Is Dad on Father’s Day?
Family holidays can be stressful. When the family is around, there can be much preparation for the joyous occasion. If the family is absent due to physical or emotional distance, or even death, there is emotional stress of another kind. But what if your loved one is nearby and far away at the same time?
According to Alissa Sauer’s blog at alzheimers.net, Over 16 million people in the United States alone care for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia. While the caregiving journey can be rewarding, it is no secret that it can also be overwhelmingly challenging.
As the disease progresses, it becomes easier to forget that your loved one is still present. Many caregivers are frustrated by their loved one’s inability to communicate their thoughts and their inability to remember faces and names. The disease eventually takes away independence so that caregivers become the feet, hands and mind of people struggling with dementia.
Many people who have the disease struggle with depression and some can become violent, further increasing frustration for caregivers. But, despite all these challenges, if you care for and love someone with dementia, it can be extremely rewarding and although it may not be obvious, your loved one is still there, behind the disease.
Is It a Good Idea to Take a Dementia Patient to a Fireworks Display?
For Americans, the Fourth of July is a day to celebrate freedom and independence. John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail that what we now call Independence Day “will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival” and that the celebration should include “Pomp and Parade…Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other.” It is a day of joyous, raucous celebration. However, for loved ones suffering from dementia, there is little freedom and independence.
In fact, loud noises and a flurry of activity can trigger negative emotions and reactions. Motorcycles, loud cars, airplanes, barking dogs, fireworks — many common sounds can cause the patient to become distressed and agitated.
So, is it a good idea to take your loved one to a fireworks display? It depends, and the results can be unpredictable. If he or she has shown signs of distress at loud noises, it might be best to forego the festivities, or at least the noisy parts.
Greg grew up in an active family, and his love of the outdoors carried on throughout his life. But when the keen rock climber started having nerve problems in both wrists that made it difficult for him to grip tightly, he knew he needed help. At first, he thought it was carpal tunnel caused by the repetitive flexing needed in the sport. But after further testing, Greg was diagnosed with hereditary ATTR amyloidosis (hATTR) — the same disease that had robbed his beloved older brother of his independence, ability to function and eventually, his life.
“I was absolutely devastated when they told me I had what my brother had. At first, I just refused to accept it,” said Greg. At the time, he didn’t know that hATTR amyloidosis is hereditary and has a genetic link. But with the support of his wife and family, Greg vowed to do everything he could to learn about the condition.
He consulted resources such as hATTR Change the Course and learned that, in people with hATTR, an abnormal protein called amyloid builds up in multiple organs of the body where it should not be. This amyloid buildup causes these organs to stop working normally. Symptoms of hATTR are varied and include digestive problems, as well as nerve damage that can cause changes in balance and coordination.
“hATTR amyloidosis is a rare, and ultimately fatal disease that often affects the nerves, heart and kidneys,” said Daniel Lenihan, M.D., professor of medicine at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and a world-renowned expert on hATTR. “The condition can have multiple symptoms that can seem disconnected, and a genetic test can confirm diagnosis.”