A force to be reckoned with…and I mean Pat, not the dementia. Kudo’s to Pat Summitt for coming forward and sharing her story. Anyone that has dementia or has been involved with those suffering from this diagnosis is aware of the changes it brings to your life and that of your family. However, strength can be garnered by the support of family and friends as Coach Summitt and her team will show us this season…
Category Archives: Dementia
As soon as we notice memory problems, especially with our aging parents, we fearfully wonder: “Could it be Alzheimer’s?”
Let’s get clear on what Alzheimer’s is and isn’t.
Dementia is the deterioration of our cognitive abilities. There are many causes for dementia, and it can be progressive or stable. It targets the mental functions of the brain, like memory, orientation, problem solving and attention. Unlike Alzheimer’s, dementia is not a disease and it has a variety of causes.
Dementia is caused by various diseases or conditions with symptoms that may include changes in personality, mood and behavior. In some cases, the dementia can be treated and cured because the cause is treatable, as in dementia caused by substance abuse, the improper mixing of prescription medications and hormone or vitamin imbalances.
For more of this article see the Foxboro PATCH…
Never an easy task, the above link offers support and help from Julie Noonan-Lawson. Julie talks openly about her families struggles and how they have handled the illness in her family. The interview was conducted by Sean Corcoran, the lead reporter for WCAI radio on Cape Cod.
Simply stated it is the physical and mental supportive system and care services provided to those persons wishing to remain in their homes or assisted living apartments by a caregiver, caregiving agency, and/or assisted living environment when they can no longer perform (without help) the day-to-day activities of everyday living.
Today, many persons are opting for home care, and or home care assistance in assisted living environments as outpatient care has become the ‘norm’ for hospitals and insurance companies. Home care is appealing to many of us as we most often feel that our home is an extension of ourselves. Receiving ‘in-home-health-care’ can be a great benefit to those recovering from surgery or other medical procedures that can limit their ability to easily take care of themselves, or maybe they just require a little extra help managing things as they grow older or maybe they are learning to live with a medical condition or disability. Whatever the scenario, I urge you to review and consider the questions below as this ‘issue’ nears closer to you and yours.
It’s imperative that we take responsibility for our senior ‘living situation’. If you don’t want others making this decision for you…be pro-active. With a little advanced planning it is possible to stay in your home even with Alzheimer’s as there are many additional support services available.
Having been regarded as competent, intelligent and able throughout my life I would hate to be relegated to only being allowed to make decisions as to what color to wear, where to place my furniture or where to keep photos and mementos…wouldn’t you?
Adult children should not have to shoulder the burden of ‘a decision’ their parents should have made or at the very least should have acknowledge as the ‘elephant’ in the room. They have lots on their minds these days and may forget to take into consideration that you (who might have some diminished capacity) may want to continue living at home. Although it is true that a balance must be found as to the family’s ability (financially, emotionally and physically) to accommodate ‘aging’ at home the problem is whether you or your family know what ‘aging at home’ means and have you given any consideration (even marginally) to the factors involved.
In February 2011 Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius provided an update on the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) program, created under the Affordable Care Act. The CLASS Act establishes a voluntary insurance program for people who are unable to perform two or more “functional activities of daily living,” such as the ability to feed or dress one’s self without assistance. Unfortunately, such impairments typically accompany the progression of Alzheimer’s and other diseases such as Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis (MS).
The program will help eligible individuals pay for non-medical services and supports to enable them to remain as long as possible in their homes and communities. Those who choose to participate in this voluntary program pay premiums while they are working and become eligible should they become functionally impaired, regardless of age. Adults who meet the eligibility requirements will receive a cash benefit of no less than $50 a day to purchase services such as adult day care and transportation services.
The Secretary is working on several key CLASS program benefits and enrollment issues before the program becomes officially available in October 2012. During her remarks, Secretary Sebelius emphasized the agency’s continued efforts – ranging from increasing public awareness about long term care services, to ensuring benefit flexibility for eligible individuals. The Alzheimer’s Association supported the CLASS program and its passage as it specifically includes within the eligibility requirements people who develop substantial cognitive impairment. This new voluntary insurance program will help individuals with Alzheimer’s disease remain as independent as possible – living in their homes and communities for as long as possible.
While we continue to work toward the day when we will have treatments that stop Alzheimer’s in its tracks, in the meantime CLASS can serve as an important part of an individual’s overall plan to be as prepared as possible to cope with Alzheimer’s impact. For more information
No one said it was going to be easy and with the most recent figures coming to light, all will have to agree that it isn’t going to be an easy task…but clearly our older seniors are requiring care that ‘someone’ is going to have to pay for; ‘looking away’ is not an option.
Anyone seriously interested in improving the health of Americans and reducing the costs of health care must be willing to tackle a growing and under-appreciated problem: the vast number of patients with more than one chronic illness.
The problem is actually two problems: delivering more efficient care to these patients and helping them not to get sick in the first place.
Both tasks require the cooperation of patients and caregivers, as well as the providers of health care and the agencies that pay for it — and, at least as important, a public willing to take proven steps to reduce the risk of chronic disease.
The statistics, as reported in December in a strategy report from the Department of Health and Human Services, say it all. More than 25 percent of Americans have two or more chronic conditions — which, by definition, require continuing medical care, and often limit their ability to perform activities of daily living. (The conditions include heart disease, diabetes, obstructive lung disease, high blood pressure, kidney disease, osteoporosis, arthritis, asthma, H.I.V., mental illness and dementia, among others.)
We all hope never to endure having our minds slowly diminished and devoured by dementia, but the odds of that are worse than you might know. In fact, there’s about a 40% chance that your brain will self-destruct while you’re in your 80s. Your chances of developing dementia increase steadily every year.
Almost 13% of those aged 65 and older already have Alzheimer’s disease, which is only one of many forms of dementia. As the Baby Boomers age, the number will increase astronomically.
This coming, unprecedented surge threatens to overwhelm individuals, families, medical systems and budgets. Years ago, we undertook a massive research campaign for HIV/AIDS, successfully developing treatment and prevention strategies. If we are to avert the looming catastrophe posed by dementia, we must increase research funding for it in the same way.
At the peak of the AIDS epidemic, 600,000 to 900,000 Americans had the disease. Now, more than 5.4 million Americans are known to be living with Alzheimer’s. Many more dementia sufferers go undiagnosed, and Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in our country.