ElderCarelink Blog

Elders at risk from mild cognitive impairment

by Dorian Martin
September 18th, 2012 at 10:00 am

Mild cognitive impairment. When I first heard that term in 2004, it didn’t seem very threatening. The clinical neuropsychologist who had just completed a series of tests on my mother said, “You have mild cognitive impairment, but you don’t have Alzheimer’s.” That diagnosis seemed to lift the threat of dementia off our shoulders. What we didn’t realize at the time but would learn is that this type of impairment can be the precursor of dementia. In Mom’s case, she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease a year later.

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Can elderly exercise stop dementia-related deaths?

by Dorian Martin
March 23rd, 2012 at 1:03 pm

It’s never too late to start exercising. And seniors may want to embrace physical activity in order to maintain their mental capacity (as well as their physical health). Here’s the reason — a new study published in the February 2012 edition of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that those who achieved at least a medium state of fitness were less likely to die from a dementia-related death.

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New ways to slow Alzheimer’s progression?

by Carol Bursack
December 16th, 2011 at 10:52 am

There are, as yet, no medications that can prevent or cure Alzheimer’s disease. Some people do quite well with current drugs that may help slow cognitive decline, but others do not respond well, or they have negative side effects. However, there’s some good news. Science Daily recently covered a study that found mental and spiritual exercises could significantly slow cognitive decline in people with Alzheimer’s disease, without any negative side effects.

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Alzheimer’s and humor therapy: laughter as medicine

by Carol Bursack
November 22nd, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Although Norman Cousins made a case for laughter being the best medicine, there hasn’t been a lot of research published on how humor can affect a person with Alzheimer’s disease. A recent study brings us the welcome news that using humor to interact with our elders may improve their health. The study–conducted in Australia–found that “humor therapy” appears as effective as psychiatric drugs for people with Alzheimer’s disease.

The study revealed that nursing home residents who participated in two-hour “clowning-sessions,” which included mime, music and more, displayed a reduction in verbally and physically aggressive behavior. Even more surprising is this drop in agitated behavior lasted for over three months after humor therapy ended.

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Simulated Alzheimer’s symptoms: The Virtual Dementia Tour

by Judy Kirkwood
November 14th, 2011 at 4:13 pm

What is it really like to have dementia or Alzheimer’s disease? My friend, award-winning writer Mickey Goodman, a caregiver for her father before he passed away, recently found out by volunteering for a study for professionals and family caregivers of patients with dementia.

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