dementia

A missing Citrus County woman with dementia was recently rescued with the help of something called a scent preservation kit.

In nursing homes and residential facilities around the world, health care workers are increasingly asking dementia patients questions: What are your interests? How do you want to address us? What should we do to celebrate the life of a friend who has passed away?

The questions are part of an approach to care aimed at giving people with memory loss and other cognitive problems a greater sense of control and independence. At its core is the idea that an individual with dementia should be treated as a whole person and not "just" a patient.

Harsh life experiences appear to leave African-Americans vulnerable to Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia, researchers reported Sunday at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in London.

Several teams presented evidence that poverty, disadvantage and stressful life events are strongly associated with cognitive problems in middle age and dementia later in life among African-Americans.

Appeals Court Overturns Sentence In Dementia Case

May 18, 2017
mnfoundations / Flickr

A state appeals court Wednesday overturned a sentence that would have allowed a woman to stay out prison after being convicted of taking $1.6 million from investment accounts of her dementia-suffering stepfather.

In a series of recent interviews, President Donald Trump's longtime personal physician Dr. Harold N. Bornstein told The New York Times that our new commander in chief has what amounts to a pretty unremarkable medical chart.

Some encouraging news in the battle against Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia: The rate at which older Americans are getting these conditions is declining. That's according to a study published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine. Researchers say one reason for the improved outlook is an increase in education.

The construction of the Florida Holocaust Memorial is one step closer to becoming reality. That's among 20 bills Governor Rick Scott signed into law Wednesday.

The Florida Department of Elder Affairs recently announced the Dementia Care and Cure Initiative to spread public awareness about dementia and to help make Florida communities more dementia-friendly.


Sticky plaque gets the most attention, but now healthy seniors at risk of Alzheimer’s are letting scientists peek into their brains to see if another culprit is lurking.

No one knows what actually causes Alzheimer’s, but the suspects are its two hallmarks — the gunky amyloid in those brain plaques or tangles of a protein named tau that clog dying brain cells. New imaging can spot those tangles in living brains, providing a chance to finally better understand what triggers dementia.

While more than a dozen nursing homes in Florida have stopped prescribing antipsychotic medications to dementia patients, and the percentage of nursing home residents in Florida being prescribed the risky, mood altering drugs has fallen to 21.2 percent, doctors at nursing homes in Volusia and Flagler counties continue to prescribe the drugs at high rates, an investigation by the Daytona Beach News-Journal reveals. 

 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Caring for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients is emotionally demanding but also is increasingly expensive, according to a Fort Myers News-Press analysis of 10 years of records from state agencies, nursing homes and hospitals.

Florida designed its guardianship program to help vulnerable elders, but critics say the cobbled-together, rapidly expanding system instead is ignoring the rights of the helpless, a series in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reveals.

Reporter Barbara Peters Smith found that the guardianship system -- administered in Florida probate court -- often takes place in closed hearings. And documents are hard to track, as individual Clerk of Courts handle the records differently.

It's one of the worst fears we have for our parents or for ourselves: that we, or they, will end up in a nursing home, drugged into a stupor. And that fear is not entirely unreasonable. Almost 300,000 nursing home residents are currently receiving antipsychotic drugs, usually to suppress the anxiety or aggression that can go with Alzheimer's disease and other dementia. You can check NPR's interactive database to see the history of antipsychotic drug usage at nursing homes in your area and how they compare to national and state averages. In Florida, the average is 21.7 percent.

Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, affects about 5.1 million Americans, many of whom live alone.  The disease, which typically takes eight to twelve years to progress, destroys memory and cognitive skills, eventually leading to a vegetative state.  This is where a proactive family and the holidays come in, according to the Miami Herald.

Thomas Bender / Sarasota Herald-Tribune

A Sarasota retirement community has a special room set up to help ease depression and anxiety for dementia and memory care patients.  As the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports, the treatment relies on sensory stimulation and not the use of heavy drugs. 

Studies have shown a daily 20-minute walk can cut the risk of dementia by 40 percent; now a Mayo Clinic - Jacksonville neurologist will study whether the benefits accrue to Parkinson's disease patients.

Lori Stanton’s 89-year-old mother, Elli, has a neurological disorder where fluid builds up in the brain. In many cases, including Elli’s, it’s accompanied by severe dementia. Until recently, Stanton cared for her mom in her New Tampa home.

“It’s all-consuming, it’s morning to bedtime and then all night,” Stanton said.

Elaine Litherland / Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Even though Bunny and Claflin Garst had what can be described as an atypical marriage (they often slept in different homes), Bunny says she never expected the legal mess that would ensue as she petitioned to become her husband’s permanent guardian. As the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports, she was competing with her former son-in-law for the right to take care of her husband, who has dementia.

Retirement is a time many seniors look forward to, but can delaying retirement keep the brain healthy? According to a study of nearly half a million seniors, working every day may keep dementia away. Since working involves being physically active, socially connected and mentally challenged, seniors who delay retirement have a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

Elaine Litherland / Sarasota Herald-Tribune

  Bob and Kay Vago have been married for 62 years, and have been almost inseparable -- even as his wife’s Alzheimer’s disease has progressed to the point that she must be in a nursing home. As the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports, Bob Vago, an inventor of numerous medical devices, has turned his inventive spirit into designing an approach that helps his wife feel that their old routine hasn’t changed.

The numbers are pretty grim: More than half of all 85-year-olds suffer some form of dementia.

But here's the good news: Brain researchers say there are ways to boost brain power and stave off problems in memory and thinking.

Alzheimer's disease doesn't just steal memories. It takes lives.

The disease is now the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S., and figures released Tuesday by the Alzheimer's Association show that deaths from the disease increased by 68 percent between 2000 and 2010.