New Study Shows You Already Have the Best Medicine for Dementia

two happy elderly women spending time with each other at home

When living with dementia, don’t overlook your daily dose of laughter.

Looking after a person you love with dementia is certainly nothing to laugh about. Yet scientific studies are frequently pointing to the benefits associated with humor, and incorporating it into dementia care may be precisely what the doctor ordered to boost total well-being for your aging parent.

For instance, an Australian study just recently announced that humor therapy can aid in eliminating agitation in people who have dementia as successfully as antipsychotic medications, without the unintended side effects. Shared laughter connects us, and assists those with cognitive difficulties to feel understood, safe, and at ease. According to Lori La Bey, founder of Alzheimer’s Speaks, “When anyone is sick or having a hard time, they still like to laugh. I spend a lot of time teaching people that feelings don’t go away, and it’s okay to get back to that zone.”

Laughter also produces endorphins, which inhibit stress hormones, and may also improve blood pressure levels and reduce pain for older adults – all of which make it well worth adding to your dementia care regimen, either by registering for a laughter yoga class along with your loved one (which incorporates clapping, singing, silly poses, and of course, laughter) or simply implementing ideas including these at home:

  • Incorporate lightheartedness and silliness randomly throughout the day. Sing goofy songs, dance around the house, tell simple jokes, and develop an environment of happiness for the older adult.
  • Realize that what is successful today will possibly not work tomorrow – and sometimes even an hour or so from now. Assess your loved one’s reactions, and if anything seems to increase anxiety, shelve the idea and attempt again later.
  • Remove quarreling and correcting from conversations with the senior. A simple “yes” and redirection to a different topic or activity goes a long way in preempting negativity.
  • Emphasize to yourself that it’s completely acceptable to be joyful. Laughter and dementia do not need to be mutually exclusive.

Allow Responsive Home Care, the top providers of home health services in Pembroke Pines, FL and the surrounding area, to help enhance life for a senior loved one with dementia. Each of our specialized dementia caregivers is fully trained and knowledgeable in a wide variety of creative, effective care techniques. Older adults achieve the added benefit of improved socialization, combined with crucial respite from care duties for family members, making a partnership with a Responsive Home Care caregiver a win-win!

Call us at (954) 486-6440 to arrange an in-home assessment to find out more, and to ask about some additional helpful resources to further equip you to provide the most effective care for your family member.

Researchers Take Another Look at a Promising Alzheimer’s Disease Drug

people looking into brain

Responsive Home Care keeps you up to date with Alzheimer’s disease treatment news.

After 16 long years with no truly viable Alzheimer’s disease drug, there is some optimism on the horizon, in a stunning reversal on the previously-rejected antibody therapy, aducanumab. The latest research uncovers that high doses of this medication do, actually, lessen cognitive decline at the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s.

According to Rebecca Edelmayer, director of scientific engagement at the Alzheimer’s Association, “It could be a game-changer for the field. It could be one of the first disease-modifying therapies approved for Alzheimer’s disease.”

Biogen, the manufacturer of aducanumab, has found substantial benefits for dementia patients in a number of areas: activities of day to day living, memory, language, and orientation. Biogen stated its plans to obtain regulatory approval in the U.S., with a longer-term goal of launching the medication globally.

With an estimated request for approval from the FDA as quickly as early 2020, the drug is slated to possibly become the first treatment option to actually reduce the clinical decline of Alzheimer’s. At the same time, it should open doors to other treatment options that impact amyloid beta plaques, joining other trials that target the immune system, inflammation, blood vessels, and synaptic cell health. As discovering the most effective treatments for the disease is a complex endeavor, it is very likely that a variety of these approaches will be necessary, according to Edelmayer.

The next challenge? Persuading the FDA to approve the drug after previous unsuccessful trials. If approved, aducanumab will first be offered to individuals who had signed up for previous clinical trials, and hopefully, soon open to other people dealing with the challenges of Alzheimer’s as well.

When it comes to the nearly 6 million senior Americans fighting Alzheimer’s (and that number is expected to more than double in the next 30 years), and also the family who care for them, these most recent findings may possibly be life-changing, as there are presently just minimally successful symptom-management medications available. Even as we wait for a treatment, we at Responsive Home Care are able to help dementia patients through highly skilled, trained, and qualified caregivers who utilize innovative therapeutic approaches that center on each person’s distinct strengths and making sure that each individual is living to the fullest.

For more information on effective Alzheimer’s care which helps maximize total wellbeing in the comfort of home, reach out to the dementia care experts at Responsive Home Care at 954-486-6440 and learn more about how our team provides the kind of senior care Hollywood, FL and surrounding area families recommend most.

Risk of Alzheimer’s: Why Is It Higher for Women?

erase Alzheimer'sResearchers are at long last starting to get a handle on why the risk of Alzheimer’s is so much higher in females than in men. Currently, up to 2/3 of people with Alzheimer’s in the United States are female, and as researchers continue to better comprehend the specific nuances behind this pattern, we are able to begin to address them.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association’s Director of Scientific Engagement, Rebecca Edelmayer, “Women are at the epicenter of Alzheimer’s disease as both persons living with the disease and as caregivers of those with dementia. Over the last three years, the Alzheimer’s Association has invested $3.2 million into 14 projects looking at sex differences for the disease and some of the findings today may explain risk, prevalence, and rate of decline for women.”

The historic notion has been that females essentially have a greater than expected lifespan, and we realize that Alzheimer’s is more prevalent as people get older. Nonetheless, the theory has shifted to also include the following further determinants:

  • Biology. Vanderbilt University Medical Center scientists found that females with mild cognitive impairment had a more accelerated spread of tau (the protein within the brain connected to loss of brain cells), along with a higher extent of tau network connectivity, than that of males.
  • Memory. An investigation carried out by the University of California at San Diego School of Medicine discovered higher scores on verbal memory tests in women than men, which may bring about the potential of women’s brains to compensate for cognitive impairments and to the postponement of a medical diagnosis and subsequent treatment.
  • Employment. Memory decline in women ages 60 – 70 who seldom were employed was greater than in females with regular employment, according to the conclusions of a report conducted by the University of California Los Angeles – indicating that “consistent cognitive stimulation from work helps increase cognitive reserve in women.”
  • Lifestyle. Since a healthy lifestyle, particularly a reduced incidence of stress, helps decrease Alzheimer’s risk, women can be especially vulnerable – since they are typically in the role of family caregiver, a known inducer of stress.

Each one of these results focus on the need for women to take care of their own overall health, and Responsive Home Care, the top providers of home health Hollywood, FL and the surrounding area can find, is prepared to assist. We offer the dependable respite care that allows family caregivers to take much recommended breaks from caring for their loved ones while focusing on self-care. Our caregivers are specially trained and experienced in meeting the unique needs of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, giving loved ones the peace of mind in knowing their cherished older adults are getting the best care. Contact us at 954-486-6440 for more information.

New Research Finds Certain Common Medications Increase Dementia Risk

Research has connected certain medications commonly prescribed to an increase in dementia risk.

They’re currently understood to cause various short-term side effects, such as memory issues and confusion, but new research connects a number of the stronger anticholinergic drugs (such as those prescribed for Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, depression, and overactive bladder) to a markedly higher risk for dementia.

The study included two groups of seniors: 59,000 patients with dementia, and 225,000 without. About 57% of those with dementia, and 51% without, were provided at least one (and up to six) potent anticholinergic medications. Looking at other known dementia risk factors, the outcomes were an unexpected 50% greater chance of dementia in people who were taking strong anticholinergics daily for three or more years, with the greatest risk to men and women who received a dementia diagnosis before age 80.

It is worthwhile to note that there was no correlation observed between dementia and other kinds of anticholinergics (for example, antihistamines like Benadryl and GI medications).

While these findings do not prove anticholinergics as a cause for dementia, at the very least, “This study provides further evidence that doctors should be careful when prescribing certain drugs that have anticholinergic properties,” said Tom Dening, study co-author and head of Nottingham’s Center for Dementia. Dening also stressed that people currently prescribed these medications should not cease taking them suddenly, which can cause a great deal more harm.

The suggestion is for any person worried about this possible link to consult with his / her doctors to consider the advantages against any potential risks, and to investigate alternative means of treatment when possible. As an example, individuals taking medications for assistance with sleeping – something that has grown to be more and more common in older adults – can contemplate behavioral changes and a more therapeutic plan over insomnia medications.

And no matter what the medications a senior loved one takes, proper medication management is key – something that’s easier said than done with many seniors taking multiple medications in a variety of doses at differing times during the day. Responsive Home Care’s medication reminder services are perfect to be sure that older adults take the correct medications at the proper time – each and every time.

Our specially trained and experienced dementia care team is also readily available to provide unique, compassionate, effective care strategies to help minimize the challenging components of the disease, bringing about an increased quality of life for seniors and their loved ones. Call us at 954-486-6440 at any time to learn more.