When you think of your life and the record you want to leave behind, do your accumulated possessions, job titles and accomplishments really do you justice? The process of aging can teach us the value of the intangibles in a life story, including the importance of community and the worth of a given moment.
Leading the nation in the creation and proliferation of dementia-friendly communities is quite a responsibility to bear, but the Land of 10,000 Lakes has made it look somewhat easy with the implementation of more than 43 such communities in the span of just four years.
Even without knowing all of the reasoning behind Gene Wilder’s decision to keep his diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease a secret, one can infer from his family’s statement that stigma was a big factor.
On a sunny August morning in Seattle, a group of kids took a few hours out of day camp to meet with older adults for a day of music and conversation. The event was designed by people living with memory loss to show the kids that despite cognitive difficulties, they have different things to offer, can get out and have fun, pursue new hobbies, and enjoy time with friends and family.
Walking (indoors and outdoors) is something we all do freely, every day, without even thinking about it. Moving away from “lock-down” memory care for people living with dementia not only helps alleviate distress, but also affirms and enables everyone’s basic human right to be able to move freely.
Recently, I posted a provocative argument for considering locked doors as physical restraints. I have received many comments about the post; and as promised, I am following up with a second installment (of three), in which I will give some guidelines for those who wish to take up the challenge.
The problem with “restraints” in long-term care is that in most cases the things we do to increase physical safety help us to feel better, but actually decrease the sense of security felt by the person. So it is with locked doors in memory care homes.
New research validates what we already know — the use of antipsychotic medications to reduce behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) is not very effective and what we should be doing instead is focusing on meeting the unmet needs of the person living with dementia through person centered approaches.
The Alzheimer’s Family Support Center of Cape Cod is a non-profit organization designed to be age- and dementia-friendly, which means that the programs are organized in a way that enables individuals of all ages and disease states to participate in the program.
We know what the experience of Alzheimer’s looks like from the outside and its correlation with age is undeniable. We do not know the exact culprit, or combination of culprits, of these experiences; therefore, classing it as a disease to be eradicated is to put the proverbial cart before the horse.
Michael Rossato-Bennett, director of the award-winning documentary, Alive Inside, is teaming up with Dr. Bill Thomas’ Age of Disruption Tour to create a first-of-its kind workshop to Disrupt Dementia.
Would it surprise you if I said that the very organizations that are discouraging the abuse of antipsychotic drugs to treat people living with dementia are actually convincing people to use them? It’s a matter of language.
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.