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Boot Camp Helps Dementia Caregivers Understand How to Care for a Loved One

By Flora Umukoro, 1:29 pm on May 21, 2018

There are boot camps for military recruits, boot camps to lose weight and even boot camps for brides, but a boot camp for Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers? Yes, there is one for that too and it is providing people with much-needed information and support. The science of treating patients is always evolving as are the techniques and strategies for dementia caregiving. The boot camp1 for caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia was developed by Dr. Zaldy Tan who recognized the physical, emotional and mental toll of caregiving. When caregivers are compromised it can adversely impact the health and well-being of the people in their care. Dr. Tan realized that improving care for caregivers …

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The Impact Loneliness and Isolation has on our Brains

By Flora Umukoro, 12:17 pm on May 14, 2018

                    How loneliness drains the aging brain and what can be done about it In his hit “Only The Lonely (Know How I Feel),” legendary crooner Roy Orbison hits close to home regarding the heartache of being and feeling alone: “Only the lonely know the way I feel tonight…only the lonely know this feeling ain’t right.” Yes, it’s true — feeling alone is no fun. But the fact remains that many American seniors spend most their lives lonely and isolated from the outside world. Sure, everyone enjoys a little alone time. However, for too many seniors, remaining isolated does more than diminish joie de vivre. It …

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How Your Choice of Words Can Impact How Long You Live

By Flora Umukoro, 10:44 am on May 7, 2018

New Research Shows Positive Language Plays A Big Role in Brain Health Watch your words! According to new research on how language and a positive mindset can improve brain health, our choice of words can impact how well we age, and also how well we recover from illness.1 The power of positive thinking and visualization have been touted as valuable practices for many years, and now, there is even more evidence that using the right words at the right time is yet another way to improve our longevity. How Positive Language Improves Brain Health The adage “you bring about what you talk about” is not new; as in, if you think you’re going to fail, …

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A Closer Look at the Causes of Heart Disease

By Flora Umukoro, 4:49 pm on May 4, 2018

Practical tips for decreasing your risk of heart disease A healthy heart is foundational to a healthy life. A healthy lifestyle will often help you have a healthy heart. Each year there are over 17,000,000 deaths worldwide related to heart disease. 80% of those deaths are preventable.1 Unfortunately, the symptoms of heart disease can sneak up on you and you may not know you are at risk until the damage is done. Heart attacks and heart disease can quickly derail your plans for your life. Instead of worrying about the possibility of an unhealthy heart, you can learn what causes heart disease, how to prevent it and how to decrease your risk. What Causes Heart …

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How Positive Attitudes Around Aging Can Reduce Risk of Dementia

By Flora Umukoro, 9:20 am on April 23, 2018

Improve brain health with these strategies for maintaining a positive outlook on life Could you, at 82 years of age, run a complete marathon (that’s 26.2 miles)? Perhaps not. However, Ginette Bedard from Howard Beach, Queens crossed the finish line of the New York Marathon not just once but repeatedly! She started running seriously when she was 69 and has been able to continually participate in this event thanks to both a diligent training program — she runs an average of three hours per day — as well as a positive attitude. Wearing a smile helps more than your physical health; positive outlooks on aging impact brain health as well. A recent Yale University study …

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How to Keep Someone With Alzheimer’s Safe at Home

By Flora Umukoro, 12:37 pm on April 16, 2018

Home safety tips for Alzheimer’s to keep your loved one safe and secure Alzheimer’s may rob a person of their memories; however, it doesn’t have to rob them of the chance to remain at home. With a number of modifications, a home can remain safe, secure and familiar for many seniors experiencing cognitive decline. Age-friendly home improvements are important for creating a safe space for your loved one. All of this begins with a careful and thorough examination of the senior’s home. Let’s start outside the home. Are there cracks or heaves in the sidewalk? Are there stairs leading to the front door? Does that front door have a round door knob? Family caregivers should …

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Can Fasting Help Fend Off Parkinson’s Disease?

By Flora Umukoro, 10:39 am on April 9, 2018

What we know about intermittent fasting and its impact on Parkinson’s You’ve probably heard that fasting can cleanse your body and improve your health. But did you know it might dampen the effects of neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s? A promising study led by Dr. Mark Mattson of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine reveals how intermittent fasting — controlling caloric intake a couple of times per week — pushes our brains to perform in healthier ways. 1 According to Mattson’s work, lab experiments involving fasting can enhance neural connections in the hippocampus. 2 They can also prevent neurons from attracting a protein called amyloid plaques, which is very common among patients suffering from …

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Communication Techniques for Early Dementia

By Flora Umukoro, 1:27 pm on April 2, 2018

Dementia changes many things and one of them is language. In fact, one of the earliest signs of dementia is the inability to retrieve words. Another is difficulty following a storyline and/or processing information. Changes in communication are to be expected and can be navigated with proper dementia care preparation. The preparation can come in all shapes and forms; have you ever heard how the rules of Improv being a good way to communicate with a loved one with dementia? As dementia impacts your loved one’s language abilities you may observe some of the following symptoms: Difficulty retrieving the right words in conversation. Describing familiar objects rather than using the name, i.e. that silver thing …

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Easy and Engaging Crafts for Seniors

By Flora Umukoro, 12:24 pm on March 26, 2018

Advance the motor and cognitive skills of your loved one by participating in a new activity Get out the art supplies, the fabric and yarn, the containers and that mysterious box of miscellaneous materials you have in your home. This month, we celebrate National Craft Month! Now is the perfect time to get creative and craft an item of your choice. If you are providing care for an aging loved one, there are plenty of craft options available for you to enjoy together. The combination of caregiving and art therapy can benefit your loved one in a variety of ways! Aside from being a wonderful way to pass a rainy day, there are many subtle …

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The Ultimate Caregiver Guide to Self-Care

By Flora Umukoro, 10:13 am on March 20, 2018

Much is written these days about mindfulness, self-care and the importance of taking care of oneself when caring for others. There is a list that I’m sure each of us can recite as we think about the next task on our respective to-do list or run off to get the next thing done. What helpful information is available to what the academic community refers to as the ‟informal caregiver” that makes a real impact in supporting them in their efforts to care for their loved one? There are plenty of articles revolving around self-care for the caregiver. So I won’t tell you to eat your cruciferous vegetables or to exercise regularly. Nor will I suggest that …

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