Okay everyone, are you listening to me?? STOP! Just…stop. If there were a “Hitchhiker’s Guide to Dementia”, the first words would still be: “Don’t panic.”
Is it possible Alzheimer’s is the result of progressive vascular disease as a consequence of aging, and therefore curing Alzheimer’s will be as difficult as curing aging?
I generally avoid posting news about the latest food, vitamin, supplement, or lifestyle factor that may or may not affect your risk of dementia, for better or worse.
Recently, I have been thinking a lot about the “lack of empirical evidence” label that hounds culture change enthusiasts.
Several people are hailing this new step in our approach to Alzheimer’s as a possible breakthrough in the making. So why do I not get filled with hope?
A few news reports on psychotropic drugs have come across my desk recently and, although completely unrelated, they share a common thread. Each case documents either widespread overuse or gross abuse of a powerful drug. And in each case, the abuse or overuse could have been reduced through a more person-centered approach.
For more than two decades, proponents of culture change in long-term care have worked on transforming the institutional nursing home model. More recently, the focus has turned to assisted living and even independent community housing.
What we see is that America falls short in all living environments when it comes to older adults engaging in diverse communities. How can we optimize the quality of life, across a multitude of settings, for our nation’s elders?
During a recent conversation with my friend Emi Kiyota, she mentioned that it would be a good neighborhood team project for elders in US nursing homes to send messages of hope and support to those in Japanese homes affected by the recent earthquake. I am happy to say that St. John’s Home is taking on the project. There is no… Read more →
This week I am out at the AgeSong communities of San Francisco and Oakland, singing, speaking and working on the Presence Project. I’ll be teaming up with mindfulness expert Marguerite Manteau-Rao, AgeSong CEO Dr. Nader Shabahangi and Dr. Leslie Ross of UCSF to develop and test a curriculum that teaches both my experiential view of dementia (which we here call… Read more →
Kudos to Virgil for exploring the dominant modes of transportation around the U.S. Having just returned from Denmark, I am always struck by the way communities are designed around the world, compared to back home. Like much of Europe, Denmark seems to be better designed for aging and energy conservation. Even the smaller towns have pedestrian zones that accommodate all… Read more →
This week, Pridemark Builders are framing the first community Green Houses at St. John’s Home in Rochester. These two homes, about 11 miles from our nursing home in the town of Penfield, will house 20 elders from our community in the center of a new townhome development. This placement will ensure that the Green Houses are part of a true… Read more →
A Wonderful Week with Richard Taylor and Friends We’ve had a great week at St. John’s. I brought Dr. Richard Taylor, award-winning author of “Alzheimer’s from the Inside Out” to speak to our community. The planning led to a mini-chatauqua with several luminaries in tow: Judy Berry, founder of Lakeview Ranch homes in Darwin MN, and winner of an RWJF… Read more →
I was honored to be asked to write the foreword for the new edition, and with Nancy’s permission, am reprinting it on the blog as a way of convincing you to buy this wonderful book: Foreword If you care for one or more persons living with dementia, either as a professional, a family member or a friend, I have a… Read more →
Kudos to the Annals of Internal Medicine for getting a little bit outside the box. This week’s lead article deals with the difficult problem of hypertension among African-Americans, who are more likely to get high blood pressure than Caucasians, and to have organ damage as a result. There are many reasons for this, but at least some is a decreased willingness… Read more →
Several months ago, I wrote about an award-winning collaboration between Nazareth College of Rochester and the elders at St. John’s Meadows. Dr. David Steitz, Chair of Gerontology, taught his Aging and Community Service course onsite at St. John’s Meadows, while many elders sat in and added their wisdom and perspective to the topics discussed. This year’s class has the elders… Read more →
After reading Kavan’s post last month, I picked up a copy of The Last Days of Ptolemy Gray, by Walter Mosley (c.2010 Riverhead/Penguin Books). I read only two pages and realized I was in the presence of a true master writer. Kavan’s original post discussed the provocative plot twist in which the lead character, who has Alzheimer’s, is given the chance… Read more →
Last rant for 2010! In an article recently published in the Journal of Gerontology, noted USC researchers Eileen Crimmins and Hiram Beltrán-Sánchez presented sobering statistics about the health of our aging U.S. population. While we have made great strides in life expectancy over the past century, this increase has slowed dramatically in the past several years. At the same time,… Read more →
Recently, I “friended” GeriPal on Facebook. GeriPal is a blog devoted to geriatrics and palliative care. Back on my birthday, they reported a literature review from the December issue of the American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias on the benefits of singing to people who live with dementia. This extensive review showed that–drum roll, please–”singing to people who… Read more →
The explosion in technological know-how has created a new wave of efforts to keep patients “connected” from their homes to their doctors. In particular, the “aging in place” movement has put a lot of stock in the concept of harnessing technology, in order to keep physically or cognitively frail people in their homes longer. Now machines exist that can transmit all kinds… Read more →
ChanginAging.org would like to wish a very happy birthday to contributing blogger Al Power! Swiss tenor Hugues Cuenod passed away at his home on December 6th. He debuted at the Metropolitan Opera in Puccini’s Turandot in 1987. By the way, he was 108 when he died and his Met debut was at age 85. Having been a concert singer most of his… Read more →