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While looking for information for all of us in the Baby Boomer Generation, busily caring for elderly parents, I discovered some interesting news and updates for the beloved seniors in our lives who are dealing with Parkinsons and / or Alzheimers Disease and their varied symptoms.
ARICEPT FOR ALZHEIMERS DISEASE
NPR brings us the good news that seniors who have been diagnosed with Alzheimers Disease can now get their Aricept in larger doses. According to the companies who manufacture the drug, "the higher dose improved scores on a patient test that measures cognition." The FDA said that "the larger dose is recommended for patients who are already taking smaller doses daily for at least three months." You can read the whole story at NPR – FDA Approves Larger Dose of Pfizer's Aricept.
You may recall the very interesting story I wrote, Good News for Those Caring for Elderly Parents Dealing with Parkinson's Disease Symptoms. As you can imagine, my ears and eyes really perk up now when I read anything to do with Parkinsons and a bicycle. So I really enjoyed reading this article, Cyclists Climb Mountains in Parkinson's Fight. It's primarily about a Parkinsons Disease fund-raising bicycle ride that is VERY heavy-duty, but I found it especially interesting to read about one of the riders who is only 36, but is in the early stages of Parkinsons.
Speaking of Parkinsons Disease, do your senior parents have swallowing issues? My father developed major swallowing problems when he was in the advanced and end stage of his Parkinsons Disease. Enough to cause issues with aspiration that led to trips to the hospital on more than one occasion. We went to a specialist for this condition, which I have since learned is called dysphagia which is defined by WebMD as "difficulty in swallowing, with MedicineNet.com giving a more detailed definition of: Difficulty in swallowing, swallowing problems. Dysphagia is due to problems in nerve or muscle control. It is common, for example, after a stroke. Dysphagia compromises nutrition and hydration and may lead to aspiration pneumonia and dehydration."
My sweet dad definitely experienced most of these and had such a difficult time with it all. One thing that really helped him was stocking up on Vanilla and Chocolate Ensure to help supplement his regular meals.
There is a brand new book out on this exact topic and I so wish it had been available sooner. But it's great that it's available now – Swallow Safely: How Swallowing Problems Threaten the Elderly and Others. A Caregiver's Guide to Recognition, Treatment, and Prevention. I would recommend checking this out to all who are caring for elderly parents – with or without Parkinsons, as this condition can impact people for a variety of reasons. We did not know enough to recognize these problems immediately and I know it would have helped and encouraged us to find out about this sooner.
This book, which is carried at Amazon, is written by Roya Sayadi, Ph.D., CCC-SLP (speech-language pathologist), and her husband, Joel Herskowitz, M.D. The Amazon description includes the information, "Many people these days know about the dangers of falling in the elderly…Relatively few people, however, realize the danger of swallowing problems. They, too, take tens of thousands of lives every year through choking, pneumonia, and malnutrition. Swallow Safely seeks to erase this knowledge gap. The book presents in clear, non-technical language, with illustrations, how swallowing works normally, how things can go wrong, what symptoms to watch out for, and how to get help."
It sounds great! I'm going to have get this for my senior relatives! To read more information and reviews at Amazon, or to order the book in order to help you as you are caring for your elderly parents, just click here.
All in all, a good news day for our beloved seniors, as well as ourselves, at SandwichINK. I'd love to hear your opinions on any or all of these articles. And for more Baby Boomer and Senior Citizen News…