ElderCarelink Blog

Elder’s insomnia may warn of other health issues

by Dorian Martin
May 22nd, 2013 at 10:00 am

Dad and I pretty much have the same conversation every morning. When I ask him how he slept, he says something like this: “I slept hard but not soundly. I was up several times during the night, but couldn’t go back to sleep. I don’t feel rested.” His description seems to match symptoms for insomnia, although I’m not a medical doctor. Insomnia can be problematic for elders — new research shows it may signal a need for health services and hospitalization in the future.

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Could supplements interact with elders’ medications?

by Dorian Martin
April 24th, 2013 at 10:00 am

Dad takes a number of medications. There’s one for high blood pressure, another for his prostate and a diuretic. Plus, he’s on a pain patch due to his chronic lower back pain. And he also takes a baby aspirin daily, a multi-vitamin supplement and a fish oil capsule.

He’s always reading articles suggesting other supplements that might be beneficial. But should he take them? A new publication by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) may shed a little light on this area.

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Brain food for elders: exercise and mental stimulation

by Dorian Martin
April 17th, 2013 at 10:00 am

One of the things I’m really thankful for is that Dad’s mind is still intact. After caring for my mother during her losing battle with Alzheimer’s disease, I’m relieved that I don’t have to negotiate that slippery slope again. However, Dad does periodically have memory lapses, which I think have been caused by different issues, such as sleep issues or misuse of some of his medications.

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The missing link: elders’ sleep and memory issues

by Dorian Martin
April 10th, 2013 at 10:00 am

Dad’s memory varies greatly. For instance, last week he could remember the first name of a woman he had read about in a 2010 newspaper article. But yesterday he couldn’t remember that we had to hire a plumber last week — even though he was the one who noticed that we had a backed-up sink.

I’m not worried, however, that he has some sort of dementia. Instead, I believe his memory issues are primarily due to his difficulty sleeping soundly throughout the night.

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Personalized preventive care plans for elders

by Dorian Martin
April 3rd, 2013 at 10:00 am

I’ve seen first-hand how quickly an elder’s condition can deteriorate when they don’t take proper care of themselves.

My mother, who struggled with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, began experiencing memory issues in 2003. As those issues progressed, Mom started mis-medicating herself, sometimes forgetting to take her medication and other times taking too much because she had forgotten she had already taken it. Her memory issues led her to avoid doctor’s visits because of her fear of receiving a dementia diagnosis. She didn’t exercise and ate primarily prepackaged foods. Her health decreased rapidly between 2003 and 2005 when she was indeed diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and placed in a nursing home for care.

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