Hearing Loss Linked to Dementia

November 15, 2014

Can getting a hearing aid help prevent memory loss?

More on Brain Health

It really doesn’t seem fair: Hearing loss, a troublesome fact of life for more than 26 million people over 50, may increase the risk of cognitive problems and even dementia.

“The general perception is that hearing loss is a relatively inconsequential part of aging,” says Frank Lin, M.D., an otologist and epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins University. But recent findings, he says, suggest that it may play a much more important role in brain health than we’ve previously thought.

Fortunately, there’s a potential upside. If this connection — shown in several recent and well-regarded studies — holds up, it raises the possibility that treating hearing loss more aggressively could help stave off cognitive decline and dementia. Lin and other researchers have several theories about the possible cause of the link between hearing and dementia, although they aren’t yet sure which of them — if any — will hold true.

Lin is the author of several recent studies pointing to a link between hearing and cognitive problems ranging from mild impairment all the way to dementia.

In a 2013 study, he and his colleagues tracked the overall cognitive abilities (including concentration, memory and planning skills) of nearly 2,000 older adults whose average age was 77. After six years, those who began the study with hearing loss severe enough to interfere with conversation were 24 percent more likely than those with normal hearing to have seen their cognitive abilities diminish. Essentially, the researchers say, hearing loss seemed to speed up age-related cognitive decline.

In a 2011 study focusing on dementia, Lin and his colleagues monitored the cognitive health of 639 people who were mentally sharp when the study began. The researchers tested the volunteers’ mental abilities regularly, following most for about 12 years, and some for as long as 18 years. The results were striking: The worse the initial hearing loss, the more likely the person was to develop dementia. Compared with people of normal hearing, those with moderate hearing loss had triple the risk.

Lin is quick to point out that simply being at increased risk does not mean a person is certain to develop dementia.

“I have a [90-year-old] grandmother who’s had a moderately severe [hearing] loss for many years now,” says Lin. “She’s sharp as a tack. I was talking to her about [my] research and she looks at me and says, ‘Are you telling me I’m definitely going to get dementia?’ ”

“I said, ‘[Not by] any means.’ ”

What’s more, while the link between hearing loss and milder cognitive problems is becoming increasingly accepted, some researchers aren’t convinced that hearing loss raises a person’s chances of developing dementia.

“Everyone in the field agrees that hearing loss is a risk for cognitive problems,” says P. Murali Doraiswamy, M.D., a professor of psychiatry at Duke University and author of The Alzheimer’s Action Plan. “But I don’t think the field takes mild hearing loss as a cause of Alzheimer’s seriously yet.” Nor, he says, do most researchers agree that hearing loss is related to other common types of dementia.

Still, he adds, “There are plausible reasons for why hearing loss might lead to dementia — the brain’s hearing centers are very close to the regions where Alzheimer’s first starts.”

4 ways hearing loss loss can lead to dementia

How might hearing loss contribute to cognitive problems and dementia? Lin suggests four possibilities. The most obvious is a common physiological pathway that contributes to both hearing loss and cognitive decline — something like high blood pressure, for instance. But in the studies, the researchers used statistical methods to take into account the factors known to be associated with both conditions, so Lin doesn’t give this explanation much credence.

Another possibility has to do with what researchers refer to as “cognitive load” — essentially, that the effort of constantly straining to hear stresses the brain.

“If you put in a lot of effort just to comprehend what you’re hearing, it takes resources that would otherwise be available for encoding [what you hear] in memory,” says Arthur Wingfield, who heads the neuroscience program at Brandeis University. Research in Wingfield’s lab has documented this effect on a short-term basis; the big question, he says, is whether years of drawing resources away from brain functions like working memory eventually reduces the brain’s resilience.

A third factor, Wingfield and Lin suggest, is that hearing loss may affect brain structure in a way that contributes to cognitive problems. Brain imaging studies, Wingfield says, show that older adults with hearing loss have less gray matter in the part of their brain that processes speech. “It’s not necessarily that you’re losing brain cells,” he adds. Certain parts of the brain cells are known to shrink when they don’t get enough stimulation. This suggests, he says, that getting clearer speech signals to the brain might allow these brain structures to grow back to their previous size and function.

Finally, it seems very likely that social isolation plays a part. Being hard of hearing tends to isolate people from others: When you have to struggle to converse, you’re less likely to want to socialize in groups or go out to restaurants. And being socially isolated has long been recognized as a risk factor for cognitive decline and dementia.

It will probably take much more study to tease out what factors might be at play, Lin says.

Most important, he says, is to find out whether providing state-of-the-art hearing loss treatment can prevent or delay cognitive decline and dementia. Lin is just beginning to plan a study to look closely at this question.

He and other researchers will monitor a large group of older adults with hearing loss. Half will get best-practice hearing treatment and the other half will get what Lin calls “watchful waiting.” Over the following three to five years, researchers will track the participants’ cognitive functions. The results won’t be available until 2020 at the earliest.

In the meantime, Lin says, if you have hearing loss, it makes sense to get it treated as well as it possibly can be. There’s lots of room for improvement — fewer than 15 percent of those with a clinically significant hearing loss even use hearing aids.

ALL ABOVE INFORMATION FOUND AT THIS WEBSITE:  http://www.aarp.org/health/brain-health/info-07-2013/hearing-loss-linked-to-dementia.1.html

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Less Than 5 Hours of Sleep Leads to False Memories

September 13, 2014

Skimping on sleep wears down your body in so many ways: it worsens cognitive function, slows reaction time, and makes learning more difficult. (The list goes on and on: after reading our new feature about the power of sleep, you might just scare yourself sleepy.)

That’s quite enough consequences without piling on the results of a recent study in Psychological Science, which found that sleep deprivation is linked to false memories. Among the 193 people tested, those who got 5 or fewer hours of sleep for just one night were significantly more likely to say they’d seen a news video when they actually hadn’t.

There’s more than just fantastical daydreaming at stake. False memories in the form of eyewitness misidentifications are thought to be the number-one cause of wrongful convictions in the U.S., the study authors write, so sleep deprivation could have consequences beyond the scope of your own health.

The study also discovered that students were more prone to researchers’ false suggestions when they hadn’t slept more than five hours. They wove those suggestions into their responses 38% of the time, while the group that got plenty of sleep did so 28% of the time. That’s probably because sleep deprivation leads to problems encoding new information, the authors write.

“Our results also suggest that total sleep deprivation may not be necessary to increase false memory,” they write in the study. Losing just a few hours could be enough to lead you to dream up facts during waking life.

http://time.com/3328149/sleep-deprivation-false-memories/

Alzheimers and sleep

August 17, 2014

http://www.alz.org/research/science/alzheimers_research.asp

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disorder that damages and eventually destroys brain cells, leading to memory loss and changes in thinking and other brain functions. It usually develops slowly and gradually gets worse as brain function declines and brain cells eventually wither and die. Ultimately, Alzheimer’s is fatal, and currently, there is no cure.

But neuroscience research efforts are under way to develop effective treatments and ways to prevent the disease. Researchers are also working to develop better ways to care for affected people and better ways to support their families, friends and caregivers. The Alzheimer’s Association is moving these research efforts forward by funding scientists who are searching for more answers and new treatments, collaborating with stakeholders, fostering worldwide partnerships among scientists, and raising the visibility of Alzheimer’s as a global health challenge.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, a general term used to describe various diseases and conditions that damage brain cells. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 50 to 80 percent of dementia cases. Other types include vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies and frontotemporal dementia. In some cases, a person may have more than one type and are said to have mixed dementia.

my mom had vascular dementia and i found out about a year or so ago, that her sister Selma has dementia of some kind as well. she is now living in a convalescence center where she is cared for. Leaving me to wonder? so what happens to me, Pam, Steve.

My friend Jewell lost her husband to Alzheimer’s, since that time she has volunteered in the support group “Alzheimer’s/Dementia support center, INC., 700 McHenry Avenue, Ste. B, Modesto, California 95350 she went to when he was alive…. she told me this just the other day…..

Renee, we just had a workshop where they told us the brain is LITERALLY washed with spinal fluid during those hours of REM sleep and that we need at least six hours of sleep per night. I think it is THREE of that which is REM sleep and that is when the plaques are washed from the brain cells. there were two things they suggested: 1. Drink a glass of water just before bed; and 2. keep a notebook beside the bed and when awakened by “something which needs to be done”…write it in the notebook with a notation “I’ll take care of this tomorrow”. Sound advice I think. sleep does wonders for you, lack of it does nothing except make you crabby.

Alzheimer gene discovered

June 27, 2014

WEDNESDAY, April 14, 2010 (HealthDay News) — Researchers have pinpointed a gene variant that nearly doubles the risk of developing late-onset Alzheimer’s disease, a new study says.

A U.S. research team examined gene variations across the human genome, or full DNA sequence, of 2,269 people with late-onset Alzheimer’s and 3,107 people without the disease. This research — known as a genome-wide association study — looks throughout the entire genome for small differences, or variants, in long stretches of DNA that are more prevalent in those with a particular disease or condition.

About 9 percent of those with late-onset Alzheimer’s had a specific variation in the gene MTHFD1L on chromosome 6, according to the study. Only about 5 percent of those who did not have Alzheimer’s had the variant.

Late-onset Alzheimer’s, which affects those 60 and up, is the most common form of the brain disorder.

With the number of people with Alzheimer’s expected to nearly double from 18 million worldwide to 34 million by 2025, according to the World Health Organization, researchers have been hunting for genes that play a role in Alzheimer’s disease. The hope is that understanding the function of the genes could help in developing better treatments, which are sorely lacking.

So far, the primary known genetic contributor to late-onset Alzheimer’s is a variant of the gene APOE on chromosome 19. The Alzheimer’s-linked APOE variant occurs in about 40 percent of people who develop late-onset Alzheimer’s, while about 25 to 30 percent of the general population has it, according to the National Institute on Aging.

The influence of the MTHFD1L variation is not as strong as APOE, and the variation itself is not as common in the population, said principal investigator Margaret Pericak-Vance, director of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics.

But what makes the current finding so interesting is how it might connect to previous research about MTHFD1L. The gene is involved with the metabolism of folate, which in turn can influence levels of homocysteine.

Elevated homocysteine, which is often tied to folic acid deficiencies in the diet, have been shown to be a risk factor for coronary artery disease and late-onset Alzheimer’s.

Previous genome-wide studies have also implicated another variation in MTHFD1L in coronary artery disease.

Taken together, the research hints at ways in which the gene variant might be associated with changes in blood vessel function in the brain that impact Alzheimer’s, Pericak-Vance said.

“The key reason people are excited about this is that it melds the genetics and the biology,” Pericak-Vance said. “Maybe we can put the biology together with genetics and come up with some way to either treat it or approach it.”

While lots of genetic variants have been singled out as possible contributors to Alzheimer’s, the findings often can’t be replicated or repeated, leaving researchers unsure if the results are a coincidence or actually important, said Dr. Ron Peterson, director of the Mayo Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center in Rochester, Minn.

M “The strength of his study is it includes a large number of subjects, they looked at a large number of [DNA sequence variations], and they replicated previously reported findings, which gives you confidence that they are correct,” Peterson said.

The study is slated to be presented April 14 at the American Academy of Neurology’s meeting in Toronto.

More information

The National Institute on Aging has more on the genetics of Alzheimer’s.

My thoughts on this:

It is good that they have appeared to have located the actual gene on the DNA where it exsists. It is interesting to learn that Vitamin B plays such a big role in the on-set of alzhiemers .  So eating better would definatly make the on-set less pronounced or at least that is the way I am interpreting it.  

 

http://www.newsweek.com/id/236293?GT1=43002

The following article is from the above website:

The Pen Is Mighter Than the MRI

At least when it comes to these cheap, effective medical tests.

PHOTOS
Inside Our Heads

Technology reveals the beauty of the brain

  • SPONSORED BY
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What’s the fastest, most efficient type of medical test for early signs of Alzheimer’s disease, depression, or diabetes risk? You can be forgiven for assuming it’s a brain scan, a blood test, or a genetic screen. But in all three cases, the best tool may actually be the humble pencil. Sometimes the most effective way to diagnose a condition or assess a patient’s risk is to have him fill out a standardized questionnaire, either on paper or on a computer. Yes, the tests look simple. But that’s the beauty of them—they’re designed that way, for ease of use, and to allow doctors to quickly get crucial information that patients might not otherwise know to volunteer. “Tools like this get used all sorts of ways,” says Larry Culpepper, chair of family medicine at Boston University School of Medicine. “They don’t replace talking to the patient to confirm what’s on the paper, or find out more. There are other things I have to do to confirm the diagnosis. But these tests sure speed that up.” Bonus: unlike their costly high-tech counterparts, they’re practically free to administer. Here’s a look at some of the best:

The SAGE test for Alzheimer’s
About those brain, blood, and genetic scans for Alzheimer’s: all of them exist or are in development. But if your doctor is concerned about the disease, he isn’t likely to employ one as a first line of testing. Instead, he’ll probably try to assess whether you have mild cognitive impairment—the “where did I put my keys” kind of memory loss that may be an early sign of impending demetia(http://www.newsweek.com//frameset.aspx/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fmemory.ucsf.edu%2FEducation%2FDisease%2Fmci.html) —by having you answer a few questions. This can be done on the computer, as with the CANS-MCI, a series of tasks that were subjected to six years of clinical research before docs introduced them widely into practice. Since 2001, several studies funded by the National Institute on Aging have found that the CANS-MCI is a reliable and valid way of picking up on the very first signs of Alzheimer’s, which is key, given that drugs for the disease work best when they’re given early.

There’s also a new test called the Self-Administered Geocognitive Examination (SAGE)http://www.newsweek.com//frameset.aspx/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sagetest.osu.edu%2F , which is done entirely on paper. The questions sound almost laughably simple, like the sort of things you might ask a second grader: “How many nickels are in 60 cents?” “Draw a large face of a clock and place in the numbers.” Remarkably, just by having patients answer a few pages of questions like this, doctors can identify 80 percent of people with mild cognitive impairment. (There aren’t a lot of false positives, either: 95 percent of mentally healthy people have “normal” scores on the test.) Douglas Scharre, the Ohio State University Medical Center neurologist who developed the test, notes that it has a big benefit for busy doctors as well as for patients: it doesn’t have to be taken under supervision, so patients can complete it in the waiting room.

//

The M3 for mental illness
Back in the 1990s, doctors came up with an easy way to recognize depression: the PHQ-9, a list of nine questions about daily life (Have you had trouble sleeping? Are you “moving or speaking so slowly that other people could have noticed?”) over a two-week period. The questionnaire was “a fabulous step forward in terms of getting depression recognized and treated,” says Culpepper, the Boston family practitioner. “But a number of us felt it was leaving doctors in the dark in terms of other conditions that the patients might have.” The PHQ-9 screens only for depression; it does not discriminate between that illness and others that may share symptoms, such as bipolar disorder. “If we’re treating those patients as routine depression patients, there are obvious risks,” says Culpepper (for instance, some antidepressants can make bipolar disorder worse).

That concern drove Culpepper to help develop the M3, a single-page checklist that takes less than 10 minutes to complete and that flags depression, bipolar disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, and anxiety disorders. “There are other things we have to do to confirm the diagnosis,” says Culpepper, “but this sure speeds it up.” The idea is to take the test frequently, monitoring the ups and downs of your score and thus your mental health. It’s available online, so you can e-mail the results to your doctor. Want to take it on your smart phone? Pretty soon, says Culpepper, there’ll be an app for that.

The prediction score for diabetes
If you’ve ever been tested the traditional way for diabetes risk—with a 14-hour fast, followed by a blood draw, a cup of a disgustingly sweet drink, a two-hour wait, and another blood draw—you know how unpleasant it can be. Even doctors admit that the oral glucose-tolerance test is”relatively costly, inconvenient, and labor-intensive, and its reliability has been questioned.”The good news is, all that effort may not be necessary. Last year researchers published a study suggesting that a few bits of basic information could identify adults at high risk for diabetes (no blood draw necessary). The researchers measured waist circumference, blood pressure, height, and pulse; they also accounted for age, race (diabetes is more common in some minorities), a family history of the disease, and a history of smoking. This information alone was enough to give them a reliable algorithm for predicting a person’s risk of developing diabetes in the next 10 years. The algorithm does have some limitations; for instance, it hasn’t yet been tested in people under 45. But someday it could replace traditional diabetes risk assessment for everyone but those at the highest risk, and that’s great news for the rest of us.

© 2010

My thoughts:

I actally downloaded the SAGE to my computer, it seems interesting to me to do this and see where i am myself.  How a pencil and paper test out does a brainscan or blood work…  the more technology we find and use and get the more we go back to the old standbys.

I’m back!

June 26, 2014

I’m back, with retirement about 12 months away, we both are looking forward to moving to Nevada and getting used to a much less stressful lifestyle. I want to start a garden and perhaps a new blog relating to food, recipes, growing herbs, food, and possibly tips on different uses for foods and such. I will also be getting a horse and probably going to need a stool to get on it because I am so short…. LOLOLOLOLOL. Getting the  next stage of life going, first travel destination will be Ireland, in we are hoping 2016. We are both excited and looking forward to this and being able to travel without having to think about getting back to go to work.  Leaving the state we grew up in…  I was born in Alameda, is defiantly hard. We just don’t see a way to retire financially in california. Plus, we both love Nevada, always have!

I’m  trying to update my blog and give everyone information on this horrible disease that steals everything you are  over a period of a few short years, to a point where you forget how to even eat. There have been so many discoveries. I have a few close friends that have had to deal with this too and got some wonderful and helpful information.

Moms services

June 25, 2014

This was a draft that I never finish , July 31st 2010.

 

Moms services were today, My cousin Jerry did a wonderful job, he always does.  There were a couple of people who said a little something about mom, they were great!  I appreciate Robinson Rancheria for working with us after the service. I had quite a time finding someplace for us to go.   No one I called had called me back with any kind of a quote or anything. Although I am glad that this end of things is over, the paper work remains..

I would like to thank all who came I know that my mom was grateful and happy.

OCTOBER 17, 2010

October 17, 2010

I woke this  morning with my back kind of hurting, after breakfast I took brodie for a walk hopeing to stretch it out.  I always take my zune with me and listen to music, kind of helps the thought processes just relax.  The boys of fall by Kenny Chesney came on and imediatly my thoughts turned to jeff, saying a short prayer for my sister/brother-in law to help them to continue to wake each day and live life.  As I am walking it occurs to me it is 3 months to the day that my mom passed and almost 4 for Jeff.

Last night I was looking at some of the photos on facebook of her and she just was not herself any longer.

You don’t see the mind going down hill, you don’t see the anguish from the harsh words, you don’t see the frustration from a job not done quite right, you don’t see the confusion about where things are, or the confusion about driving, directions, cooking, making out checks.  when you finally do, it is usually to late to do anything, they learn to hide it until nothing can be done. The clothing was always just right, always neat and tidy, the hair always done, make up done, happy to go somewhere. Suddenly, going somewhere was such a hard thing to do, the make up was not done any longer and then the hair, finally the clothes were not really good either.  Finding the way back from a familiar place. The thing that I did not know anything about was the money, I had no idea how she was not handling it until bills weren’t paid, and I discovered a PILE of money.

Moving her in to our place, because I had to, because of an injury….  I discovered the confusion about cooking…  putting a pot on the stove for tea with no water in it. Perhaps that was why she was eating so many of the frozen meals. everytime i went up there the kitchen was a wreck, i would spend all day cleaning it. Her cleaning lady said she would not let her clean it.  Not figuring out how to work the microwave. Eating, presented a discovery as well, sometimes she could figure out how to cut a piece of meat or eat a hamburger and then sometimes not. She would ask, what is this, It is a hamburger. OH.

We went for dinner for her birthday when she was still home and she could not tell me how to get home from there. she didn’t remember if she paid a bill, she would call me, and she was angry, “they said i was late and charged me a late fee”, welll look in your check book and see if you wrote it down. oh good idea, ? :\   She wouldn’t take her pills, so then other medical issues happened. she needed more care than she was getting and trying to get her to move closer was not working either.

finally when i moved her down here in the house with us, I was surprized by the lack of her inability to do things, well, or at all. Her lack of understanding that the computer was not just a device used for work but play too.  she would not sit out in the front room with us and watch T.V. she would always go back to her room.  We even brought her chair down here so that she would feel more “at home”  and while I do believe that she was satisfied being here, It was clear that she was still not “comfortable” and getting her to realize that she could not go back living by her self was definatly a challenge.  I started about 3 years ago now going up there about every 6 weeks or so to make sure things were going ok, and to help her start packing to move down to a house permantly. I would bring boxes up and start packing and when I would leave to go home, I would tell her ok so you clean this out and pack that up. i went up there 6 weeks later and nothing !!! had been done.  she would get STUCK on things like “…… 2baths, 3 bedroom…”  and tell me I need a shower I can’ t get in to a bath tub.  No mom bathroooms, has a shower and a bathtub.  I don’t need 3 bedrooms, well you can use one for storage, and the other can be used for when dortha comes to see you, or someone else.  I guess it really was I don’t mind being closer to you, but I don’t want to move from here.

This picture of her is NOT how she always was, this is the decline. This is the person she became after the vascualar demitia hit.  She had a host of problems, CHF, Liver issues, platelets issues-which when blood was taken the heart showed horriblely, so did the platelets.  In the end when the Dr said to me “we need to talk” it was 6months maybe less, it turned out to be 3days later, he told me I believe the platelettes are showing a problem with the heart and it is not so. when her and ted were together she had the platelette issue start and took the fastest route, steriods, and no one checked her bones and 2 disks in her back colappesd. So the result was constant pain.  So I think that while she wanted to be “here” she was tired and tired of the pain and just ready to go and be with my dad.

The pain will numb after a while for my mom and for Jeff.  I miss my mom, dad, jeff, uncle Don, and oma every day. I constantly see and feel things I should have/could have done differently. I feel the end result would have been the same, Aunt Marilyn did what she could for uncle Don, I did what I could, Garry and Vickie did as much as they could do, when God calls you home you go. Although it hurts still 22 years later for oma and my dad, The happy memories will always keep the thoughts comeing through and a smile on my face. 

Miss you guys…..

At Peace

July 27, 2010

Most of you already know that my mom passed away on Saturday July 17th. This has brought the final chapter in a long road of illness that I did not recognize until it was too late.  But at least I did recognize it.  My mom was admitted to the hospital on Thursday the 15th in the afternoon.  Her blood work revealed that her platelet count was at 6,000 when normal is between 150,000 and 400,000.  Her hemoglobin was low, blood sugar was low, potassium low.  Her kidneys were not producing any urine, her Liver was not working properly.  They put 6 pints of blood in her and 2 pints of platelets and she was bleeding internally.  Her bone marrow was not producing the blood cells the way they should have.  We don’t know if it is leukemia or what. she would  not allow the testing WAY back, because she said if it was cancer she would not get any coverage. The Dr. felt that the platelet issue was messing with the CHF.  The blood work for the CHF would come back off the chart, and the chest scan would come back not good but not as bad as the blood work had indicated. 

I have had conversations with various family members which lead me to think back.  My mom always enjoyed looking good, hair done, nice clothes. As far back as about 7 years ago, I realize now that the hair was not  as nice as it used to be, the clothes were not as nice as they used to be. The attitude was a general “not good” when asked how are you.  It came to a point where her neighbor was grocery shopping for her, picking up the mail. I was going up there about every 4 to 6 weeks to check on her and make sure it was all ok.

So my father is probably thrilled to have her finally home.  My sister-in-law and myself were up at her place about 6 or 8  months ago cleaning and looking for things and discovered love letters to my mom from my dad, not sexual, but honest, heartwarming love letters. This is the kind of love movies are made of and my parents had it. This gives me solace in a time of sadness.

The assisted living place where I put mom in February took very good care of her.  The meals she was getting here equated to a cheese sandwich for lunch because I really did not have the time to cook. The assisted living place gave them all “meals” which was good for my mom.   She was deteriorating really fast and while I think that I realized it….   I probably did not want to “SEE” it.   I am going to try to keep this blog going with all the information I can get my hands on to all of you informed as to the direction of the Alzheimer’s/dementia.  

Back in March or so my mom was in the hospital for 3 weeks. She was severally dehydrated, bladder infection, her CHF was  acting up.  The first 3 days she did not remember and asked me “how did I get here” .  I told her and she would ask me things like can I go and get my green box? It is down the hall.  She would tell me things like someone came to visit her in the middle of the night.  ? possible? medications?   She kept telling me that she did not want to drink anything because then would have to pee. I said well you are hooked to a bag it really does not matter.   My cousins went to visit her and she asked me if they were who they were, ? yes that is them.  There was much confusion when she was in the hospital, she was asking me the same questions over and over.  She was put on 2 heart pills and 2 water pills as a result of this visit, along with a host of other things. Antibiotics for the bladder infection that did not seem to want to go away. More than likely if we could have gotten her to drink more liquids there probably would not have been much of an issue. 

She is interned at the chapel of the chimes in Oakland with my father. Now this place is absolutely beautiful, worth going to just look at it.  The person that designed it also designed San Simeon, there are cages with birds in them, little places where trees and flowers grow, little water fountains,  many little rooms and an area where the ceiling opens to allow fresh air in. It is a relaxing, happy place.

New Alzhiemers info

May 18, 2010

Here’s a little teaser- gingivitis…..  causes plaque. We all know this. Recent studies-I watched it about 15 min ago on kcra, say that this plaque also causes problems in the veins which cause alzhiemers.  This would make sense in my moms case. When I was a kid she had bad gum disease, and had to have all her teeth pulled. She now has Vascular Demitia, copd, Congestive heart….  on and on.   more later…

Been Awhile

March 27, 2010

Well it has been quite a while since I was last here.  It has been busy, work has kept me hopping, with new computers and software programs to learn so that I can tell the teachers.  I have been out to see my mom a number of times since my last post. she is doing really well, of course don’t ask her. The nurse that was always coming here to see her and take blood pressure and such went over there to see her and called me to give me a report. She said that mom is doing really well, really clean, her legs went from a +3 pitting to +1 pitting. All I know is that 1 is better than 3.  The nurse said that the staff said she was complying with them as well.  The nurse also told me “don’t go feeling bad because they can get her to shower every day, I see it all the time, the parents just flat refuse with their children”  she also said you sound better, I felt bad for you because you had no help except for the immediate family, and sometimes no matter how hard they try it still is not enough.  The nurse said this is a good place for your mom.

Good thing- when she was here I had all kinds of trouble with her doing the things I needed her to do. Mom has started on Namenda for her demitia/alzheimers so we will see where it takes her and how she does with it. The Namenda will not reverse to better brain activity but it will slow down the progression.  Namenda is a better medicine I think than ariept, aricept has a horrible diarrhea side effect. One that you just don’t want to deal with, trust me!!  The Nameda’s side effects are only constipation and dizziness. which she seems at the moment to not have even experienced. 

Linda is the caretaker there, and when I went there recently I noticed the bed pulled away from the wall, well it ended up  that mom was trying to…? do something with the blinds? or the curtains? or something so Linda moved the bed away from the wall so that she could not do that any more and get possibly get hurt.  Mom has been making her self to home out there. When I was out there one time she told me, “Hey they got mad at me because I walked around back of the stove,” there is an island in the kitchen, “well mom, you have to walk away from the stove so that you dont’ get hurt”  also because the pantry is there and all the meds are in the pantry, under lock and key, but still she needs to follow the rules.   So then she sort of understood but still wanted to just help herself to food and such.  Can’t do that mom, the NyQuil you decided tasted good and the liquid Tylenol you sampled here doesn’t  hurt you but the meds they have for the other two ladies in there could. Yes she would help herself to NyQuil, :/ here and also liquid Tylenol. I did not find out until I was doing something in the kitchen and I heard Click, Click ??? I am thinking what is that, I followed the sound to my moms bedroom and I said what are you doing? I am going to have some cherries. (it was cherry flavored)  !!!!   no…..   this is medicine you can’t just take it. do you have a headache? No, well then lets put this back in the closet.  so this ended up with me moving the rest of the med out of her reach only to find a bottle of NyQuil that was empty, the little cup was dirty with used NyQuil, we always clean the cups out after use, so we know it was her.  I gave her a trash bag to throw papers and such away, I found a REALLY moldy banana in it. now, i kind of looked through some of the drawers in there and found a mold stain in one. she had gotten it and then thought she would put it away for later. she probably did not remember that you can’t do that it molds very fast. 

I am thrilled she is at Melron Home Care, they can keep a close eye on her and make sure she dresses every day and gets excercise every day.  They can sit and have a  conversation with her, they make her get up and come put her feet up when her legs swell up. so all in all it is a good thing. 

It is good for us too, Walt and I can go places now over night. Pam and Steve don’t have to come and sit for me so that I can do something I need to. Walt doesn’t need to make sure he  is home at a certain time every day to ensure that mom is not burning down the house or ?? what ever.   Pam found mom walking down the hall once with a sharp steak knife “… to move some things in the bedroom”  ?  when we moved her we found about 6 spoons, 2 knives, and a fork. numerous empty water bottles under the bed, now i am going to tell you I cleaned the room all the time.

any way, i am going to go now. that is it for now. things are much  better for all of us!!!