Important Updates from the 2019 Alzheimer’s Association Facts and Figures Report

Closeup of various reminders attached with magnetic thumbtacks on metal

The report is in: Learn new Alzheimer’s facts and figures here.

2019 Facts and Figures Report, and with a staggering 5.8 million Americans presently diagnosed with the disease – including one out of every ten older adults – it is essential for all of us to be familiar with the latest innovations in research and treatment plans.

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The Importance of Partnering with Professionals for Dementia Care

Shot of a daughter visiting her senior mother in hospital

Learn how partnering with Fort Lauderdale elderly care experts, Responsive Home Care can help you with dementia care for a loved one.

While an incredible number of older adults are struggling with the challenges of Alzheimer’s disease, an even greater number of family members are trying to cope with caring for them. Incredibly, nearly 75% of family caretakers are managing their senior loved ones’ dementia care needs on their own, with only 26% seeking professional care assistance. Read more

Non-Invasive Deep Brain Stimulation Shows Promise, Reduced Risk for Parkinson’s

Reduced Risk for Parkinson’sGreat news for those with Parkinson’s disease and other brain conditions: deep brain stimulation, which has been helpful but risky, is now being studied in a noninvasive form – opening up a whole new world of treatment potential. Up until now, deep brain stimulation has required a surgical procedure involving “opening the skull and implanting an electrode,” according to Ed Boyden, an MIT associate professor of biological engineering and brain and cognitive sciences. Brain hemorrhage and infection have been distinct possibilities with this procedure that must be carefully weighed against the potential benefits.

Now, however, a new, noninvasive approach is being tested, with positive results. Utilizing TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation) through electrodes placed on the scalp, both a low and high frequency current work in tandem to safely target the area within the brain to stimulate. Initial lab tests on mice resulted in such precision that the animals’ whiskers, ears, or limbs could be prompted to move based on the specific region of the brain being stimulated – with no harmful effects.

As for the potential for humans? Li-Huei Tsai of MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory explains, “I think it’s very exciting because Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders seem to originate from a very particular region of the brain, and if you can target that, you have the potential to reverse it.”

At Responsive Home Care, we’re excitedly following the progress of this new treatment; and in the meantime, are providing expert care to those with Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s disease, and other chronic conditions of aging. Contact us for more helpful resources and south Florida in-home care assistance.

Are Tremors the Only Symptom of Parkinson’s Disease?

When many people think of Parkinson’s disease, the first thing that they think of is tremors. A person who is living with Parkinson’s disease who is shaking or having difficulty with normal daily activities because of their trembling is a common image, but as a family caregiver it is important for you to recognize that tremors are not the only symptom of Parkinson’s disease. Not only are there further symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, but not everybody who develops Parkinson’s disease will experience tremors as a part of their personal symptoms.

Homecare Hollywood FL - Are Tremors the Only Symptom of Parkinson’s Disease?

Homecare Hollywood FL – Are Tremors the Only Symptom of Parkinson’s Disease?

Every person who develops PD has an individual experience with the disease and will develop a personal set of symptoms, limitations, and challenges. Approximately 70 percent of those who develop Parkinson’s disease will have tremors as their first or even primary symptom. The other 30 percent, however, do not experience tremors.

This means that simply because your elderly loved one is not experiencing tremors does not mean that they are not suffering from Parkinson’s disease. It also means that if your aging loved one does start to show signs of tremors it does not necessarily mean that they are suffering from Parkinson’s disease. In fact, those who start to experience tremors are far more likely to be suffering from a condition known as “essential tremor” rather than Parkinson’s disease.

It is very important if your aging loved one starts to show changes in their behavior or condition, such as tremors, shaking, or inability to control their movements, that you get in touch with their doctor to discuss your concerns. The doctor can examine your loved one and give them an accurate diagnosis. This is extremely important to making sure that your elderly parent gets on the course of treatment and management that is right for their individual condition and needs.

If your aging parent has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease or their symptoms have increased to the point at which you do not feel confident that you are giving them all of the care that they need as they age in place, now may be the ideal time for you to consider starting elder homecare for them. An elderly homecare services provider can be with your aging parent on a customized schedule that is right for their individual needs, challenges, limitations, and symptoms so that they can pursue an active, engaged, and fulfilling lifestyle while remaining safe, healthy, comfortable, and as independent as possible.

This homecare provider can help your parent to understand the condition that they are facing and the instructions, guidelines, and prescriptions that were set forth for them by their doctor. They can then give them support, encouragement, and reminders to help them remain compliant with these instructions and make the lifestyle choices that are right for their needs. Not only does this help your senior to manage the symptoms that they are experiencing now, but also enables them to better prepare for the future symptoms that might develop later in their journey with the disease.

Sources:  http://www.pdf.org/symptoms
http://www.pdf.org/symptoms_primary

If you or an aging loved one are considering Homecare Services in Hollywood FL to provide companionship, compassion and motivation, please contact the caring staff at Responsive Home Care. Call today 954-486-6440.

What Kinds of Add-ons Can Be Helpful for Your Loved One’s Lifting Chair?

Senior Care Pompano Beach FL

Senior Care Pompano Beach FLLifting chairs themselves are incredibly useful for your senior loved one as they are, but there are add-on accessories that can make the chair even more useful. Determining the right accessories for your loved one can often mean simply assessing her needs.

Heat and Massage Functions

If your senior loved one has joint pain, arthritis, or other issues, heat and massage can help her quite a bit. Having a chair that has these functions built into it allows your loved one to use those features whenever she needs them. The best options are massage and heat functions that offer several different settings so that your loved one can truly customize the experience.

Folding Tray Extensions

Trays that fold or slide out of place can help your loved one to engage in all sorts of activities from her chair. Smaller trays are perfect for holding a book or a set of cards while larger trays can allow your loved one to eat meals in the comfort of her lifting chair. When you’re looking for this kind of addition, make sure that the tray slides easily without much effort from your loved one and that it has a way to lock into place.

Storage Compartments

Many lifting chairs offer storage compartments in the arms or in the sides of the chair. These are perfect for holding the chair’s control, the remote controls for her electronics, and any other items that she likes to keep close to her. Double check that the compartments are easy for your loved one to access while she’s seated in the chair.

Motorized Foot Rest

Traditional recliners often use either a lever on the side of the chair or a pressure system to raise and to lower the footrest. If your senior loved one is interested in a recliner option with her lifting chair, it’s a good idea to find one that has a motorized foot rest. This is especially helpful for senior loved ones who don’t have the strength to move the foot rest otherwise.

Let your loved one’s senior care providers and other family members know where to find the instructions for the chair in case she runs into trouble and needs extra help.

If you or an aging loved one are considering Senior Care Services in Pompano Beach FL to provide companionship, compassion and motivation, please contact the caring staff at Responsive Home Care. Call today 954-486-6440.

What to do When an Elderly Loved One has Kidney Failure

Elderly Care Pembroke Pines FLOur kidneys are an important component of our bodies for a number of reasons, including the fact that they cleanse the body of harmful toxins by releasing them through our urine. When the kidneys are unable to perform their regular tasks, it could lead to severe consequences, including death.

Knowing as much about this condition is the first step in helping your elderly parent get the help they need. If they live alone, you may want to consider hiring an elderly care provider to watch over them each day and contact their doctor immediately if they fear there is a problem with their kidneys.

Here is some information to help you and their caregiver navigate through how to care for someone with this condition.

Risk Factors

The first thing that can be done to understand kidney failure is to understand where the illness can come from. Here are several of the most common risk factors.

History of diabetes
Family history of kidney problems
Coping with high blood pressure
Overusing medications, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen

The Difference Between the Two Types of Kidney Failure

Acute kidney failure occurs when there is a sudden change to the function of the kidney. Some of the possible reasons behind getting this type of kidney failure are:

Bladder problems
Kidney stones or calcified materials, causing a blockage to the kidneys
Kidney infections
Damage to the blood vessels that lead to the kidneys
Protein or blood in the urine
Swelling of the extremities
Abnormal Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) test
Increased urge to urinate, which may also be extremely painful

Chronic kidney failure may be present if the elder experiences any of the following symptoms.

Frequent fatigue
Shortness of breath
Excessive need to urinate at night, yet secretes very little urine
Rashes on the skin as a result of impurities in the body that are building up with no way to escape
Increased thirst
Trouble managing their diabetes or high blood pressure
Acute kidney failure can usually heal on its own, but severe chronic kidney failure may result in the need for a kidney transplant.

Prevention

If you are concerned that your elderly loved one may develop this illness, try the following tips to prevent kidney failure from happening to them.

Eat the right foods. There are certain foods that are more difficult for the kidneys to manage. Talk to a dietician or the elder’s doctor to determine what foods will help your loved one with their condition.

Exercise. Regular exercise will prevent a wide range of chronic illnesses from occurring. In turn, the elder will be at a lower risk of kidney failure.

Manage other chronic health problems. By properly treating and taking care of current health problems, like diabetes and high blood pressure, your loved one may be able to prevent issues with their kidneys.

Source: http://www.eldercarelink.com/Other-Resources/Health/kidney-failure-in-the-elderly.htm

If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Pembroke Pines to provide companionship, compassion and motivation, please contact the caring staff at Responsive Home Care. Call today 954-486-6440.

Making Care Decisions Early in Your Parent’s Experience with Parkinson’s Disease

Home Care Coral Springs FL

Home Care Coral Springs FLWhen you find out that your elderly parent is suffering from Parkinson’s disease you are put at the beginning of a journey that will present a wide variety of challenges and demands for your aging parent and for you as their family caregiver.

This is a progressive disease, which means that the symptoms that your senior loved one faces will change, increase, and intensify over time. Though your parent’s medical team can give you an idea as to how your parent’s condition will progress and what you might expect moving forward, there is no real way of knowing everything that they will face or the true path that their disease will take. This makes it essential that you do as much as you can to prepare for the journey early so that both of you are prepared for what will come.

Making care decisions early in your parent’s experience is about taking advantage of their awareness and cognitive functioning at the beginning of the disease and using it to ensure that they make the plans and preparations that are right for them.

It is important to be aware that changes in cognitive functioning, memory loss, and even dementia are potential symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. This means that they are able to evaluate the progression of the disease ahead of them, express their thoughts, beliefs, and wishes, and make plans that will give them confidence that they will get the care that they need and give you peace of mind that you will be able to make the decisions that are right for your loved one when the time comes.

There are many issues that you will need to consider when making care decisions at the beginning of your parent’s experience with Parkinson’s disease. Some of these include:

• Their feelings regarding artificial resuscitation

• Their feelings regarding life support

• Their feelings regarding hospice care

• Their thoughts on additional care options, such as hiring an elderly home care provider to be with your aging parent to fulfill their needs and help them manage their symptoms

• Their wishes regarding aging in place or transitioning into living in the home with you and the rest of your family

• Legal considerations, such as power of attorney, health directives, wills, and other arrangements to ensure that they get the care they need and that their estate is managed properly

• Their perspectives on their final arrangements and how they want them to be carried out when the end of their life comes

It can be extremely challenging and emotionally difficult thinking of these issues and discussing them with your parent, but it is vital that you confront them and handle these conversations courageously, honestly, and thoroughly. Consider sitting down with their doctor as well as a therapist if your parent is having difficulty coming to terms with these issues or does not feel that they have enough information to make the decisions that are truly right for them. This can give both of you more confidence and help you to feel more prepared as you continue on in this new chapter.

If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care Services in Coral Springs FL to provide companionship, compassion and motivation, please contact the caring staff at Responsive Home Care. Call today 954-486-6440.

Hand Exercises that will Help Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain

Elderly Care Lauderhill FL

Elderly Care Lauderhill FLSomeone with rheumatoid arthritis often suffers from debilitating pain in different joints and muscles in the body, particularly in their hands. The pain can become so intense that even picking up a pen can be difficult. Someone with rheumatoid arthritis can especially benefit from having an elderly care provider assist them at home with all of the tasks that have become too difficult for them to do.

If your elderly loved one is looking for some relief from their RA pain, hand exercises may be exactly what they need to do. The following exercises will keep the hands strong and pain-free.

Folding fingers. Bring all of the fingers together in a loose fist. Then, open the hand slowly, repeating this exercise a few times. The best time to try this activity is when the hands are warm during a shower or with a warm, damp washcloth placed over the hand.

Walking fingers. A kitchen or hand towel should be placed on a table in order to do this exercise. The hand should then be lightly cupped, with the fingertips and thumb supporting the entire hand. The elder can “walk” their fingertips and thumb towards them, trying to lift the towel into their palm. Once they are able to get as much of the towel in their hand as possible, they should try to gently squeeze it.

Thumb to base of fingers. Keeping the thumb strong is important because most hand motions require the use of the thumb. For this exercise, the elder should try to touch the base of the little finger with the thumb. This can help strengthen the grasp for your loved one, making it easier for them to pick up certain objects.

Spread fingers. It is important that the elder is able to spread their fingers apart for a number of hand motions, such as putting on gloves. To do this, spread the fingers apart in a slow and gentle manner. Once the hand is flat, the senior can also exercise the thumb by separating it from the other fingers.

Finger pinches. Pinch the thumb to the tip of each finger in order to make doing daily activities easier, like tying shoelaces. The most important fingers that should be “pinched” by the thumb are the index finger, long finger, and side of index finger.

These exercises are very simple and can be done with elderly adults of various physical abilities. Talk to the elder’s doctor for more tips on helping your loved one relieve their rheumatoid arthritis pain.

Source:  http://www.everydayhealth.com/hs/rheumatoid-arthritis/hand-exercises-for-rheumatoid-arthritis/

If you or an aging loved one are considering Elderly Care Services in Lauderhill FL to provide companionship, compassion and motivation, please contact the caring staff at Responsive Home Care. Call today 954-486-6440.

THIS ONE SIMPLE TEST COULD PREDICT BREAST CANCER RELAPSE

Cancer survivors whose disease has gone into remission have so much to celebrate and be thankful for, and many are celebrating this October during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. But there may always remain a concern in the back of their minds: could the cancer return? For women who have survived breast cancer, there may at last be a way to put this fear to rest once and for all.

A simple blood test is showing great promise in predicting a relapse of breast cancer—as much as eight months in advance of it being detected by current imaging methods. And although the initial testing group was small, the prediction was accurate in an astounding 12 out of 15 women.

According to Dr. Nicholas Turner of the Institute of Cancer Research, lead author of the study, “We have shown how a simple blood test has the potential to accurately predict which patients will relapse from breast cancer, much earlier than we can currently.”

Although the test is not yet available to those outside of the study, the goal is to one day utilize this method to be able to individually tailor treatments, and hopefully bring us one step closer to eliminating breast cancer altogether.

STUNNING REVERSAL IN ALZHEIMER’S RESEARCH

Earlier this year, we reported on the discovery that microglia cells, a known fighter of infection, were at the heart of preventing Alzheimer’s plaques from forming. Already, however, a new twist to unraveling the Alzheimer’s puzzle has developed.

Utilizing a specific mouse model with the ability to develop Alzheimer’s disease, immune system abnormalities were studied, and it was discovered that a repressed immune system, rather than the previously determined amplified immune system, is in place for those with Alzheimer’s. According to Matthew Kan, the study’s first author, “It’s surprising, because [suppression of the immune system] is not what the field has been thinking is happening in Alzheimer’s disease.”

Dr. Carol Colton, the study’s senior author, notes, “We see this study opening the doors to thinking about Alzheimer’s in a completely different way, to break the stalemate of ideas in Alzheimer’s disease.” Read the full article from Alzheimer’s News Today, and keep an eye out for exciting new developments as this research progresses. Read the entire study article in the Journal of Neuroscience here.