With many in the Sandwich Generation caring for elderly parents who have Alzheimers Disease with dementia symptoms, this is a special month for all of us caregivers. It's Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month – originally declared so by President Reagan several years ago:
"After designating a National Alzheimer’s Disease Week in 1982, President Ronald Reagan helped to launch a national campaign against Alzheimer’s disease in 1983, calling members of the Alzheimer's Association to the White House for the signing of a proclamation declaring National Alzheimer’s Disease Month"
In honor of this, I've rounded up some news articles of interest to all of us boomers and seniors dealing with it now, or who may be in the future. Just click on the title links to read the entire articles:
- Alzheimer's Disease Impact On Caregivers, New Survey from Medical News Today – "According to a new survey, the biggest fear for the majority of family caregivers is their loved one's general health and physical decline followed by the fear that Alzheimer's will rob their loved one of the ability to communicate. The survey designed by…"
- Some People With Alzheimer's Take Conflicting Drugs – Common medications might block action of dementia drugs like Aricept from U.S. News and World Report – Health – "Anticholinergic properties are often found in drugs commonly used to treat gastrointestinal disorders, allergies, urinary incontinence, depression and Parkinson's disease, and they can have negative effects on cognition and function in the elderly. There's concern that if someone is taking both types of drugs — cholinesterase inhibitors and anticholinergic medications — they will antagonize each other, and neither will work," she explained."
- The Dan Wheldon you didn't know fought for Alzheimer's Association – from ABC Action News – "Wheldon became involved with the disease when his mother was diagnosed with early on-set Alzheimer's Disease when she was in her mid-50s. Alzheimer's is a degenerative brain disease that robs people of their memory."
- Alzheimer's Disease Fact Sheet – PDF version – "Although we still don’t know how the Alzheimer’s disease process begins, it seems likely that damage to the brain starts a decade or more before problems become evident. During the preclinical stage of Alzheimer’s disease, people are free of symptoms but toxic changes are taking place in the brain."
- Alzheimer's Disease Definition and In-depth Info from Mayo Clinic – "Current Alzheimer's disease medications and management strategies can temporarily improve symptoms, maximize function and maintain independence. It's also important to seek social services and tap into your support network to make life better. Research efforts aim to discover treatments that prevent Alzheimer's or slow its progression."
- The Alzheimer's Bullet from Alzheimer's Reading Room – "Soon there will be two kinds of people. A person that has Alzheimer's; or, a person that knows someone that has Alzheimer's."
- UPDATE on Dementia with Lewy Bodies from A Psychiatrist with Lewy Body Dementia (LBD) – "Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB) is a progressive degenerative disease or syndrome of the brain. It shares symptoms—and sometimes overlaps—with several diseases, especially Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. People who develop DLB have behavioral and memory symptoms of dementia like those of Alzheimer’s Disease and…"
- 3 Books Every Alzheimer's Caregiver Must Read from HealthBridge's In-Home Care Blog – "What's the one book you would read if you had three hours to learn everything you could about Alzheimer's Disease caregiving…here's where you start…"
And if I were to recommend books? I totally concur with Matt Johnson's first choice (and you'll find it in the right column 🙂 ), while his next two were new to me and I'll have to check them out. To his three, I would add My Journey into Alzheimer's Disease and A Caregiver's Guide to Lewy Body Dementia
These are all excellent resources for all of us in the Sandwich Generation. That's always great news for boomers and seniors caring for elderly parents with Alzheimers Disease and dementia symptoms. How about you? Do you have more sites or books to suggest? We'd love to hear.