Posts Tagged ‘dementia’

Caregiver Corner: Holiday travel tips

As the holidays approach, many of us look forward to traveling to visit friends and family. Many families ask me about traveling with family members with dementia. Here are my top tips. Plan your trip carefully. If flying, give yourself extra time at the airport to avoid stress. The airports can be busy and overwhelming over the holidays, so pace yourselves. Give yourself a cushion of time for extra bathroom and meal breaks. Consider asking … Read More

Caregiver Corner: 8 ways to reduce the stress of holiday meals

Holiday meals can be very stressful for caregivers for persons with dementia. Here are some tips to keep the meals pleasant. 1. Tell your guests about the dementia diagnosis ahead of time. It can be very confusing for all if the diagnosis is kept as a secret. 2. Consider the timing of the main meal. If your family member with dementia typically is anxious or agitated in the afternoon or evening, consider having a brunch … Read More

Understanding frontotemporal dementia

For the past 10 years, I have had the privilege of leading a support group for family caregivers of persons with frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and related disorders. The group’s creation was based on an observation among our clinicians at the OHSU Aging and Alzheimer’s Clinic that the typical Alzheimer’s Disease support group did not always meet the needs of families dealing with FTD. A closer look at the hallmark symptoms of frontotemporal degeneration will help … Read More

Caregiver corner: Pleasant Events tool can aid overtaxed caregivers

A demoralizing effect of Alzheimer’s disease and similar dementias is the gradual loss of ability to engage in enjoyable and meaningful activities. This loss affects the whole family and can lead to depressive symptoms in the care recipient with dementia. Overtaxed family caregivers know that activity engagement is important, but they often tell me they are exhausted and can’t think of another activity. To address this concern, Teri and Logsdon (1991) developed the Pleasant Events … Read More

Five things you should know when caring for a loved one with dementia

Caregiving for a loved one with dementia can be challenging to your family dynamics, your finances, and more. But did you know, it can also be hard on your emotional and physical health? Research shows that caregivers for persons with dementia are more vulnerable to health problems such as hypertension, diabetes, depression, anxiety and insomnia. It is important that caregivers take care of themselves as well as their care-recipients. 1. Find, and attend, a support group. It … Read More

The connection between the brain, sleep and dementia

Last week, I talked about ongoing research on how sleep “deep cleans” your brain, as well as my participation in the National Geographic Channel’s documentary Sleepless in America. Meanwhile, our team of OHSU researchers, along with colleagues at the University of Rochester in New York, are plunging ahead with the story of the brain, sleep and dementia. We recently published an article in the journal Annals of Neurology that showed that the “brain cleaning system” is impaired in the aging … Read More

Sleepless in America — and the science behind it

There’s nothing quite like that feeling in your head after a long night of…no sleep. Your head feels disorganized, foggy, fuzzy, jumbled. Like it’s full of sludge left over from the night before. That’s maybe because it is. My colleagues and I have made some recent discoveries about what happens to the brain during sleep. In essence, we’ve found that the brain’s cells shrink during sleep in order to open up the space between them. That … Read More

Keeping your brain healthy — 7 simple steps

Keeping your brain healthy is simpler than you might think. In fact, the best chance for keeping your brain healthy — far into your senior years — can be as simple as keeping your body healthy. But it takes a commitment, and maybe just a bit of sideline support. So the OHSU Brain Institute has recently launched its Healthy Brain Campaign. At the center of the campaign are seven simple lessons to live by — … Read More

The road to a healthy heart is the road to a healthy brain

What if we told you that you could live your life in simple ways that give you a very, very good chance of having a healthy heart and a sharp brain well into old age? No special drugs, no special surgeries, no amazing scientific discoveries and no wonder cures. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? And it’s simple. Science is beginning to understand that the route to a healthy brain and healthy heart might be pretty … Read More

New test that predicts Alzheimer’s?

What if we could predict who would one day go on to develop Alzheimer’s disease? There is no definitive test for Alzheimer’s disease. Neurologists and others who specialize in treating dementia are very accurate in diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease once symptoms have begun. Memory or other thinking problems and performance on different kinds of cognitive tests give a good indication of whether someone has dementia or another condition that can cause memory problems. Once a diagnosis … Read More

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