Every few weeks there seems to be a new story about how attitudes towards aging affect the way older minds and bodies function. The latest is irresistibly titled: “Karma bites back: Hating on the elderly may put you at risk of Alzheimer’s.”
While Alzheimer’s creates challenges for those who live with it – and for their loved ones who watch them endure it – dementia should never define a person, or lead them to believe they ought to just give up and submit to it.
As it happens, I received two related news reports from colleagues today. Both concern the current state of affairs with psychotropic drug research, and the dangerous ways in which data is being manipulated and misrepresented.
I have decided to coin a new philosophy around the support of people who live with changing cognitive abilities.
This short and not-too-sweet post is an addendum to my guest editorial that was published here in McKnight’s on Friday, July 24th.
“Hello. My name is Richard, and I have dementia, probably of the Alzheimer’s type.” These are the words Dr. Richard Taylor used to open each of his presentations, as he enlightened the world about the lived experience of changing cognitive ability. Richard passed away at his home on July 25th, due to cancer.
In my last post I criticized the Australian Financial Review for its characterization of people living with dementia, and of our aging population in general. Now that the furor over that article has subsided somewhat, it’s time to tackle that deeper concern.
Last week I came across the most irresponsible, ill-informed, and inflammatory bit of writing I have ever seen on the topic of dementia.
I believe our top priority is to build all inclusive communities, both for our aging population in general, as well as those living with changing cognitive abilities of all kinds. Here’s why:
I promised to follow-up with additional blog posts about my experience at the Alzheimer’s Disease International 2015 conference in Perth, Western Australia. Here is a quick post with full video from my plenary session.
People living with various forms of dementia often exhibit certain signs of emotional upset, which may include anger, sadness, fear, frustration, or anxiety. Have any of you ever experienced these feelings? Maybe you too have dementia!
America has a looming public health crisis. And it also happens to be America’s favorite pastime.
Sometimes we need to be reminded we are on a journey and an illness does not define who we truly are.
Prepare your brain for a bountiful flood of new research on how music can “Change the Brain.”
Yesterday I had a conversation with the Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) in my home state of Montana about how to change dementia caregiving practices in the state’s nursing homes. I offered three ideas and would like suggestions from readers.
Beyond awareness, we need to develop comprehensive, personalized brain health strategies that gradually modify our behaviors, replacing risky behaviors and habits with ones that protect and strengthen the brain.
Monday’s New York Times article “Complexities of Choosing an End Game for Dementia” provides a good opportunity to reflect on the complex ethical questions surrounding dementia.
Given the reality that most people are not currently equipped with the knowledge and resources to implement other solutions, there will be times when the use of medication may need to be considered. So here are some guidelines for those along the journey who have not yet created the infrastructure for an anti-psychotic-free environment.
Have you watched Alive Inside yet? It’s available on DVD and streaming on Netflix. Let’s put music at the heart of the conversation about what makes a life worth living.
Recently, a friend who works in long-term care wrote to ask if I had any formal guidelines for prescribing antipsychotic drugs to people living with dementia.