How Reminiscence Therapy Can Help Seniors With Alzheimer’s Stay Engaged

eminiscence therapy

To help seniors stay engaged, reminiscence therapy provides a way to walk down memory lane.

Memory loss and dementia may seem synonymous. Yet it is crucial to realize that long-term memory frequently remains intact long into the progression of the disease. Because of this, tapping into those distant memories is an easy strategy to help a loved one with Alzheimer’s stay engaged in current conversations by connecting to the past.

Known as reminiscence therapy, these walks down memory lane help seniors:

  • Minimize some of the adverse effects of Alzheimer’s, for example , restlessness, anger, wandering, and more
  • Decrease negative emotions and stress by shifting the focus to happier times
  • Instill self-confidence by bringing to mind the many accomplishments they have made as well as the lives they’ve impacted
  • Better connect to others through sharing stories

Implementing reminiscence therapy doesn’t need to be elaborate. Start with opening a photo album and simply taking a look at pictures together. Let the person drive the next steps. If a particular photograph sparks a memory and the senior wants to share that, keep the conversation going as long as they would like. If they choose instead to view the photographs silently, you can do the same, while assessing the person’s expression to make sure they are calm and relaxed.

Just as photos can bring enjoyable memories to the surface, they can also remind the senior of friends and family lost, or of a particularly hard time in their life. If the activity invokes anxiety, close the book and move on to something else. It may take a little coaxing to switch gears if the person seems distraught. Moving to a different location, such as outdoors or to the kitchen for a snack, can help. Or try bringing up an alternative memory from a period you know was a positive experience for the older adult.

Other ideas for reminiscing include:

  • Smelling familiar, enjoyable scents which could have meaning for the person: freshly mowed grass, flowers that grew around their family home as a young child, a particular brand of shampoo, bubble bath, or soap they used to bathe the kids when they were little, etc.
  • Making a recipe the older adult especially enjoys and eating it together
  • Engage in an ability-appropriate activity that holds meaning to the past: sorting buttons or nuts and bolts, filing papers, painting, knitting, playing a musical instrument, etc.
  • Listening to favorite music from the past

Let our creative dementia care team help! We provide home health services in Fort Lauderdale, FL and the surrounding area. We’ve got lots of ideas for effective reminiscence therapy that will help a senior you love live life to the fullest. Contact us at 954.486.6440 to learn more.

Is the Alzheimer’s Vaccine, Protollin, Close to Being a Reality?

Protollin

Researchers are studying Protollin, an Alzheimer’s vaccine to help in the fight against dementia.

If 2021 will be recalled as the year for COVID-19 vaccines, perhaps 2022 will make its mark with a different kind of life-changing vaccine: an Alzheimer’s vaccine that can slow or prevent the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

The very first human trial of Protollin, delivered by way of nasal spray, is underway in 16 seniors between the ages of 60 and 85 with early-stage Alzheimer’s symptoms. The predicted outcome is to activate immune cells that will eliminate the beta-amyloid plaque believed to cause the disease.

Coming on the heels of controversial results of Biogen’s Aduhelm, the first new approved drug for Alzheimer’s in decades, the stakes are high. Aduhelm is an antibody infusion that at first seemed to fail in its goal of improving memory and cognition functioning, leading Biogen to discontinue clinical trials. However, several months later, there did seem to be a beneficial impact in a small group of participants, leading the FDA to approve its use – even if the results are not definitively clear.

Finding an effective treatment or preventative option is vitally important. The latest data show approximately 6 million Americans currently identified as having the disease. It’s also one of the leading causes of death in adults in the United States, with a steep incline in mortality rate of 88% between 1999 and 2019. And that figure might only be scratching the surface because it represents only those clinically diagnosed. We all know that people with cognitive impairment may have trouble with receiving an appropriate diagnosis, and they often are challenged by other medical conditions as well.

Researchers are hopeful that Protollin, as well as Aduhelm and other antibody drugs undergoing study, are putting us on a promising path forward. Jeffrey Cummings, a brain-science professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, goes so far as to say, “It just feels like we have turned a corner.”

Our senior caregivers are helping older adults with Alzheimer’s every day, and we excitedly anticipate a point in the future when the disease is defeated. Until then, we’re here for you with creative, personalized care in order to make life the very best it can be for seniors with dementia.

It’s also very important for loved ones caring for someone with dementia to protect their own health by ensuring plenty of time for self-care. Our dementia respite care team is available to help you set up a schedule for regular time away – as much or as little as you want. We’re skilled in effective management of many difficult signs of the disease, including wandering, agitation, aggression, sundowning, and others.

Give us a call 24/7 at 954-486-6440 for a complimentary consultation to receive more information about how our professional caregivers in Fort Lauderdale, FL and throughout the area can help.

Two Ways Using Virtual Reality Helps Dementia Patients

grandfather and grandchild using VR headsetsPicture for a second how it could feel to struggle with the cognitive obstacles of Alzheimer’s disease. The people who are closest to you are no longer familiar. The words that would roll off your tongue without a second thought are now just beyond your grasp. In fact, the whole world as you once knew it has turned completely upside down, leaving you yearning for a recognizable foothold.

One of the kindnesses imparted by dementia is the long-term memories that oftentimes remain intact long after short-term memories have disappeared. It is why connecting a senior with Alzheimer’s to the past is usually an incredibly effective way to engage them – through music, movies, photos, and reminiscing. We can also now add a high-tech tool to the mix that is demonstrating impressive results with seniors diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease; virtual reality.

Skip Rizzo, director for medical virtual reality at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies, has been using the technology to help veterans dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder. He’s now expanding his reach to seniors – beginning with his own 89-year-old mother, whose delightful reaction to a virtual trip to Rome confirmed exactly how effective the technology can be for older adults.

Rizzo shares an encounter in which he visited a nursing home where a group of residents were simply sitting around a table in silence, until he began showing them flashcard-like pictures of objects they might recognize from their past. The change in the atmosphere was electric, as the seniors began sharing memories with each other. With the potential of low-tech tools such as simple photos to create delight for seniors, just imagine the opportunities available to us now with high-tech options like virtual reality!

The advantage of virtual reality for older adults goes further than merely boosting memory and bringing enjoyment, such as:

Improved Health Care

The distraction of virtual reality is showing to be an effective tool for easing physical pain for seniors. It can also be used to enhance balance and other motor skills as well as improve spatial reasoning. It can even help doctors detect health conditions by monitoring how older adults respond in various activities and games.

Increased Socialization

We know that older adult isolation is a contributing aspect in a number of physical and mental health problems. A recent study by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine presented that up to one in four older adults feel socially isolated. To tackle this concern, AARP Innovation Labs developed an app called Alcove, in which older adults and their friends and family can enjoy virtual reality experiences together.

Would you like to learn more creative options to improve quality of life for an older adult you love? Connect with our team at Responsive Home Care, for home care in Hollywood, FL and throughout the greater area at 954-486-6440!

The New Developments in Alzheimer’s Research That May Surprise You

brain connections head illustrationIf there is one constant thing in the race to solve the puzzle of Alzheimer’s, it is change. It appears as though any time researchers start to get a grasp on one piece of information, new information shifts their hypotheses in an alternative direction. That is most certainly the situation with the amazing new developments in Alzheimer’s research.

For the first time ever, scientists from the University of Cambridge have been in a position to study human data as opposed to animal models. Their findings point to an origin of the disease in several regions of the brain, instead of a single location that sets off a chain reaction, as previously surmised from scientific studies of the brains of mice.

Dr. Georg Meisl of Cambridge’s Yusuf Hamied Department of Chemistry explains, “The thinking had been that Alzheimer’s develops in a way that’s similar to many cancers: the aggregates form in one region and then spread through the brain. But instead, we found that when Alzheimer’s starts there are already aggregates in multiple regions of the brain, and so trying to stop the spread between regions will do little to slow the disease.”

Because of this, the disease’s progression is predicated upon how fast cells are destroyed within these different regions. This new insight will undoubtedly be extremely beneficial in the advancement of treatment plans that target the processes that happen at the beginning of Alzheimer’s. Further good news: the replication of the tau and amyloid beta proteins responsible for Alzheimer’s happens slowly, and our neurons are already evolving to stop the aggregation of these proteins. Hopefully soon, science and biology will work together to help the millions of individuals impacted by Alzheimer’s.

The next step will likely be for researchers to further investigate the processes involved in the earliest stages associated with the disease, while extending research to other health conditions, for example, progressive supranuclear palsy and traumatic brain injury. The data obtained could even help provide clues into more effective treatments for other common neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease.

If someone you love is battling Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, reach out to our dementia care team for helpful information and assistance with innovative, skilled, hands-on caregiving support. Our creative, patient, and caring methods alleviate the strain of challenging behaviors including:

  • Sundowning
  • Wandering
  • Aggression
  • Agitation
  • Frustration
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • And many others

Give us a call any time at 954-486-6440, and we can discuss solutions to help with the particular challenges a senior you love is facing. You’re never alone with Responsive Home Care’s trained experts by your side! To learn more about our dementia care in Hollywood, FL and the surrounding areas, contact us today.

Is It a Potential Dementia Diagnosis or Medication Side Effects?

dementia diagnosisDisorientation. Confusion. Memory loss. While these are definitely hallmark warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, they can also come about from taking specific medications. Before automatically assuming an inevitable dementia diagnosis, review the following list of prescription medications that may cause similar effects.

Pain Medications

Opioids specifically are reported to affect short-term memory. The good news is that the issue is usually resolved once pain remedies are no longer being taken.

Acetylcholine Blockers

Prescribed for insomnia, IBS, urinary incontinence, depression, heart disease, vertigo, and Parkinson’s, along with other conditions, treatments with anticholinergic effects that block acetylcholine’s effects in the brain may cause memory disturbance, confusion, agitation, and delirium, and other significant health conditions. An example is tolteridine.

Benzodiazepines

These medications help treat both insomnia and anxiety, with sedative qualities that can also cause cognitive problems. Long-term usage of benzodiazepines may also be a risk factor for developing dementia. Examples include lorazepam (Ativan) and temazepam (Restoril).

Corticosteroids

Mood and cognitive changes, psychotic symptoms, and delirium are just some of the complications connected with corticosteroid use. Prednisone is one common example.

Chemotherapy Medications

Known as “chemo brain,” chemotherapy drugs impact some individuals in the areas of memory, attention and focus, and executive functioning. These changes may persist, even after finishing chemo treatment.

Statins

Statins, prescribed to lower cholesterol, have a suspected link to memory and mental slowing and decline. While there are inconsistent results from a variety of studies, it is important to know about the potential for cognitive complications.

It’s also important to note that many medications affect older adults differently than those who are younger. This is due in part to the decreased efficiency in an older person’s kidneys and liver, in addition to interactions with other medications being taken and a reduced cognitive reserve in the brain. Complications can also be further exacerbated by alcohol use.

Make sure to speak with the physician prior to starting, stopping, or changing any medication, and about whether any cognitive complications you’re witnessing in an older adult might be the result of a medication.

Responsive Home Care, the top provider of senior home care in Pembroke Pines and nearby areas, is also readily available to assist older adults in many ways – medication reminders to ensure meds are taken just as prescribed, picking up prescriptions, transportation to doctors’ appointments, and keeping an eye out for any changes in condition and reporting them immediately, just to name a few. Contact us at (954) 486-6440 for help and support any time.

How to Talk with the Doctor if You Suspect an Alzheimer’s Disease Diagnosis

senior-discussing-dementia-diagnosis-with-doctorDistress. Fear. Embarrassment. The thoughts and feelings surrounding a potential Alzheimer’s diagnosis may cause older adults to keep their suspicions to themselves. A recently available AARP survey peeled away a few of the layers of emotion to get to the reason – namely, a concern over losing independence and becoming a problem to others.

While there is some truth to those worries, there are also some misconceptions fueling them. As an example, nearly 50% of the participants, who were adults age 40 and over, believe they’re likely to get dementia as they get older. The truth is that just over 10% of seniors over age 65 are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

As a result, it is essential for seniors to communicate with their physicians for the practical, straightforward information they need – particularly if any warning signs of dementia [MS2] are being detected, such as:

  • Memory decline which is disruptive to everyday life
  • Planning/problem-solving challenges
  • Problems with accomplishing once-familiar tasks
  • Confusion and disorientation to time and place
  • Vision issues and difficulty identifying color/contrast and judging distance
  • Writing/speaking changes
  • Losing things and leaving them in unusual spots
  • A decline in judgment
  • Social withdrawal
  • Mood/personality changes

The following are some suggestions to help overcome any reluctance in talking to a doctor about dementia, and how to make the conversation as productive as you possibly can.

  • Don’t put it off. The natural impulse might be to procrastinate bringing up something that may potentially be so life-changing. Nevertheless, time is of the essence in obtaining a proper diagnosis together with the most effective treatment.
  • Bring a friend. It is comforting to have the support of a dependable friend, family member, or caregiver at the appointment. Ideally, this person can provide additional information to the physician as well as any concerns being noticed from their perspective.
  • Make comparisons to then and now. Share with the physician the particular changes that are causing concern. For instance, a loved one may be a retired math teacher who, up until last month, didn’t need to think twice about balancing the checkbook, but recently is experiencing some frustration with the task.

The physician can review prescription drugs to see if adverse reactions are creating a problem, and schedule assessments and test to discover the best course of action.

Responsive Home Care’s kind and friendly caregiving companions are always on hand to accompany seniors to medical appointments and procedures, and also to help make life easier and more manageable in a number of other ways as well. Reach out to us at 954-486-6440 for more details on our home care services in Fort Lauderdale and the surrounding areas.

Dementia Tips: Understand the Newly Defined 4 Subgroups of Alzheimer’s

happy adult daughter with senior mother with dementia

For many years, experts have been exploring the development of Alzheimer’s through one particular basic model, despite the fact that the symptoms and progression of Alzheimer’s can vary from person to person.

Now, however, a large, new collaborative study between the US, Sweden, Canada, and Korea is revealing some interesting data to help us more fully understand and treat Alzheimer’s disease. Rather than one universal, dominant diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, researchers have discovered that there are four distinguishable variants that occur in as many as 18 – 30% of cases. This change in thinking is helping researchers better comprehend the variations in the disease from one person to another.

With these findings, specialists are now able to customize treatment plans based on the particular subgroup diagnosed.

The study looked at data from more than 1,600 men and women, identifying over 1,100 who were either in various stages of Alzheimer’s disease or who were not cognitively impaired at all. Researchers followed these participants for more than two years, funneling each person who presented tau abnormalities into four distinct sub-groups:

  • Subgroup 1: Occurring in as many as one out of three diagnoses, this variant features the spreading of tau within the temporal lobe. The predominant impact is on memory.
  • Subgroup 2: Impacting the cerebral cortex, the second variant has less of an impact on memory and more on executive functioning, such as carrying out actions or planning activities. It affects about one in five individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
  • Subgroup 3: In this variant, the visual cortex is impacted, affecting a person’s orientation to self, ability to distinguish shapes, distance, contours, movement, and an object’s location in relation to other objects. As with the first variant, it occurs in about one in three diagnoses.
  • Subgroup 4: This variant represents an asymmetrical spreading of tau in the left hemisphere of the brain, causing the greatest impact on language and occurring in about one out of five cases of Alzheimer’s.

Oskar Hansson, supervisor of the study and professor of neurology at Lund University, explains future steps: “…we need a longer follow-up study over five to ten years to be able to confirm the four patterns with even greater accuracy.”

No matter which type of dementia an older adult has, Responsive Home Care’s caregivers receive significant training in helping manage any challenges while focusing on his/her strengths. Contact us to learn more about in-home senior care in Fort Lauderdale and nearby areas and let us develop a plan of care to enhance life for a cherished older adult with dementia.

Taking Care of Elderly Parents After the Pandemic: The Shift We Can Expect

Employers may now have a different perspective on those taking care of elderly parents post-pandemic.

If there is a single positive after-effect regarding the pandemic, it is the appreciation generated for the plight of family caregivers. Managing work and home life is without question a tremendous challenge for those taking care of elderly parents. As Lindsay Jurist-Rosner, CEO of Wellthy, explains, “Caregiving went from a silent struggle to being in the spotlight overnight.”

Businesses were suddenly thrown into the fire of navigating a world of balancing the safety of staff along with the need to uphold productivity. Here is what we discovered – and what we can expect in the future:

    • More telecommuting. Individuals who began working from home in the last year have, in some cases, demonstrated their ability to be much more productive. Because of this, it is predicted that nearly 25 – 30% of the workforce within the United States will continue telecommuting at least several days a week this year.
    • Less stress. Doing away with the daily commute opens up extra time for self-care for family caregivers, while enhancing peace of mind. This is particularly true for those who relied on public transportation and were wary of compromised health safety. To further boost mental health, many employers are offering subscriptions to mindfulness and meditation apps.
    • A corporate culture of caring. Working from home has opened up the personal elements of our lives to employers. Zoom meetings share our living spaces with each other, including the appearance of pets, children, and other household members. As a result, the workplace has started to become more humanized, resulting in a more empathetic working environment.
    • Emphasis on mental wellness. Along those lines, there is now greater awareness of the significance of attending to our mental health. A Kaiser Family Foundation poll shared that nearly 45% of adults experienced negative mental health affects as a result of the pandemic – and an even more substantial percentage in those who function as family caregivers for older family members. Many employers have started implementing ways to take care of the mental health of their employees, such as offering virtual adventures and trips to give the chance to relax and escape.

Let Responsive Home Care, who offers the best respite care in Weston, FL and the surrounding areas, further help nurture a better work-life balance with our dependable respite care services. Regular, ongoing respite care is key to the general wellness of family caregivers. Our skilled and compassionate home care team is on hand to help with anything from only a few hours every week up to and including 24/7 care. Call us at (954) 486-6440 to request a no cost in-home assessment to find out more.

 

Low Vision and Dementia Caregiver Tips: 6 Engaging Activity Ideas

Dementia Caregiver Tips

These low vision and dementia caregiver tips help make each day more enjoyable.

Finding activities that are fun and engaging for a loved one with dementia can be a challenge. Add in vision impairment, and it may seem overwhelming. Yet it’s vitally important to ensure each day holds opportunities for joy, purpose, and meaning – reducing the level of frustration, agitation, and other difficult emotions and behaviors in dementia. Never fear; we have the low vision and dementia caregiver tips you need!

The first step is to think through the senior’s current and past interests, hobbies, and lifestyle. Then brainstorm ways to tap into those preferences. We’ve compiled a few ideas to help you get started:

  • Put together a playlist of the senior’s favorite songs or genre of music, and then dance, sing along, keep the beat with a tambourine or simply a sealed container of dried beans. Reminisce about memories the music invokes.
  • Read aloud, choosing stories or articles that are easy to follow and on topics that are of interest to the senior. For instance, a sports fan may enjoy hearing an update on his or her favorite teams and players, and then talking about highlights from the past as well.
  • Get up and moving for improved circulation and muscle tone, as well as to help encourage daytime wakefulness and better nighttime sleeping. If weather permits, exercising outdoors is a wonderful way to add in fresh air and vitamin D. Try walks in nature, pointing out the particular birds, flowers, trees, etc. that you pass along the way.
  • Experiment with a variety of tactile art mediums that can be manipulated without the use of vision, such as clay or sculpting sand. Or try creating a 3-D work of art by gluing buttons, shells, dried pasta, etc. into a pattern or shape.
  • Include the senior in ability-appropriate tasks around the home. Food preparation offers a variety of options, such as washing and tearing lettuce for a salad, peeling and breaking apart bananas or oranges, and mixing ingredients for a cake. Or ask the senior to help with folding laundry or sorting nuts and bolts in a toolbox.
  • Give pet therapy a try. Specially trained pet therapists can provide a safe, trusted cat or dog for the senior to pet or hold. While this may seem simplistic, the joy and relaxing effects of spending time with an animal can be significant.

At Responsive Home Care, the leading provider of home care assistance in Plantation, FL and nearby areas, our care specialists are skilled in creative ideas to engage seniors of any ability level to help make daily life more enjoyable. Contact us at 954-486-6440 for a trusted care partner today!

Alzheimer’s Research Milestones Reached in 2020

Alzheimer’s Research Milestones

Discover some of the most exciting Alzheimer’s research milestones of 2020.

With so much negative news throughout 2020, it is worth noting some of the incredible achievements the year brought – including the Alzheimer’s research milestones. Katie McDonough, director of programs and services at the Alzheimer’s Association, shares, “There are many things that we’re learning and it’s an exciting time for Alzheimer’s research.”

Listed here are just some of the Alzheimer’s research milestones reached that are taking us ever closer to a cure:

  • Identification of Alzheimer’s disease risk factors. Learning about the leading risk factors for Alzheimer’s, in particular pollution, excessive alcohol consumption, and traumatic brain injury (among others) is estimated to reduce cases of dementia around the world up to 40%.
  • Decreasing rates of Alzheimer’s cases. For the past three decades, dementia diagnoses in Europe and North America have declined by 13% per decade – likely the result of changes in lifestyle.
  • Progress towards earlier diagnosis. The Early Detection of Neurodegenerative diseases initiative (EDoN) has been started, in which digital devices are being developed to diagnose dementia as early as 10 to 15 years prior to symptom onset.
  • Increased attention to MCI. Mild cognitive impairment, or MCI, is now being evaluated more thoroughly, allowing for earlier strategy, diagnosis and treatment.
  • Dementia blood tests. Predictors for the risk of Alzheimer’s disease have become more sophisticated, and in a recently available study from Sweden, researchers identified blood-based proteins that predict future memory and thinking problems.
  • Review of antipsychotic meds. A recent study conducted by the University College London reported an increased rate of the prescription of antipsychotic drugs for people with dementia – possibly linked to the greater need for delirium management along with agitation and anxiety from COVID-19 restrictions. These meds are recommended only when no alternative is available, and the reduction of their use is currently being further explored.
  • Artificial intelligence. At a faster pace and lower cost, an innovative new AI solution is able to identify the formation of proteins within the brain, helping researchers design treatments to help remove these proteins.
  • The FDA accepted this promising drug in 2020 for a priority review process, meaning that sometime in 2021, we should be finding out if it’s approved for use in the general population.

At Responsive Home Care, we are committed to following the current research on dementia, as well as on offering the cutting-edge, highly skilled care that helps individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer’s live to their fullest potential. Whether the need is for full-time care, or just a few hours each week for reliable respite services, reach out to us at (954) 486-6440 for an in-home consultation or to explore options for home health care in Pembroke Pines and the surrounding areas.

Problems with Memory: Could It Be Dementia?

Problems with memory could indicate dementia, or could simply be a normal part of aging.

You entirely forgot about the doctor’s appointment scheduled for last Monday, misplaced your glasses for the umpteenth time, and can’t remember the name of the new neighbor for the life of you. Are these problems with memory just a regular part of getting older, or could they signify the beginning of Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia?

The fear of developing Alzheimer’s is common; and growing, as dementia has garnered increasing awareness, resulting in anxieties about our own potential loss of independence and functionality, in addition to memory difficulties. Furthermore, it brings up questions regarding future care and living arrangements, if the time should come that support is necessary to remain safe and to tend to daily needs.

Yet it is important to understand that there are a number of reasons for forgetfulness which happen to be totally unrelated to dementia, and some level of problems with memory are simply part and parcel of aging. Recently available statistics show that only 5% of older adults ages 71 – 79 actually have dementia, though that number increases to 37% for people aged 90 and over.

The initial step is to speak with your primary care doctor about any cognitive impairment you’re experiencing, so you can receive a precise diagnosis and treatment. Before your appointment, pay attention to details such as:

  • When the impairment began
  • Whether it was a gradual or sudden decline
  • If it is impacting day to day life: eating, getting dressed, taking care of personal hygiene needs, etc.

The physician will want to rule out issues that can mimic dementia – such as depression and delirium – as well as determine whether the issue might originate from medication side effects. Dementia progresses slowly, and in addition to memory deficits, can impact the ability to:

  • Communicate
  • Reason, judge, and problem-solve
  • Focus and pay attention

For anyone diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, or any other condition that affects the capacity to manage day to day life independently, Responsive Home Care, the leaders in home health care services in Fort Lauderdale, FL and surrounding areas, is always here to provide as much or as little assistance as necessary by well trained and experienced care professionals. A few of the many ways we can help seniors with dementia or other challenges remain safe, comfortable, and independent at home include:

  • Assistance with personal care needs, like showering and dressing
  • Running errands
  • Planning and preparing meals
  • Household chores
  • Engaging activities and socialization
  • And a lot more

Call us at 954-486-6440 for a complimentary in-home consultation to learn more about how our home care services can help.

The Different Types of Dementia: Is It Alzheimer’s or Something Else?

different types of dementia - ft lauderdale caregivers

Different types of dementia share similar symptoms, but need different treatment.

A senior who exhibits loss of memory, confusion, poor judgment, repetition, and problems with performing daily activities has the distinguishing signs of Alzheimer’s disease, right? Actually, what appears to be a clear case of Alzheimer’s may really be one of several different types of dementia – in particular, one that has just recently been identified. 

Known as LATE, or limbic-predominant age-related TDP-43 encephalopathy, this diagnosis has nearly identical symptoms, but the underlying cause is another story. Instead of the buildup of amyloid plaques and tangles inherent in Alzheimer’s, LATE is diagnosed by deposits of TDP-43 protein, as reported by Dr. Julie Schneider, associate director for the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center. 

And TDP-43 protein troubles happen to be quite common in elderly people, with as many as one in four people over age 85 affected enough to cause noticeable cognitive and/or memory issues. Yet it remains an under-diagnosed condition, which could result in misdiagnoses, and therefore, inappropriate treatment. 

The newest guidelines call for people who have been determined to have LATE to be pulled from Alzheimer’s medication research, concentrating research alternatively on establishing biomarkers to better recognize LATE, to find therapeutic intervention methods, and to expand testing to include a wider variety of diverse populations, in order to improve both prevention and treatment. 

Becoming familiar with the different types of dementia is vital to proper treatment, and according to Dr. James Pickett, head of research at the Alzheimer’s Society, “This evidence may also go some way to help us understand why some recent clinical trials testing for Alzheimer’s disease have failed – participants may have had slightly different brain diseases.”  

Key aspects of LATE include: 

  • Mainly affecting seniors over age 80 
  • A much slower advancement than Alzheimer’s
  • Usually only affects memory
  • Could be accompanied by Alzheimer’s disease, which leads to a far more rapid decline 

Whether Alzheimer’s disease, LATE, or some other type of dementia, Responsive Home Careproviding home and dementia care in Hollywood, FL and surrounding areas, offers the fully customized, skilled and creative caregiving that helps seniors live the best possible quality of life where it’s most comfortable: at home. Our care aides are fully trained and experienced in assisting individuals diagnosed with dementia, along with helping family caregivers to more fully manage the varying difficulties experienced in each stage.  

Contact us any time at 954-486-6440 to inquire about more dementia care resources, discover answers to your questions, or to schedule an in-home consultation to find how we can assist someone you love with dementia care in Hollywood, FL or the surrounding areas. Visit our Service Area page to view the locations that we serve.