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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.

Coping with Incontinence and Dementia

senior woman drinking orange juice

ntinence and dementia often go hand-in-hand. Learn how to best handle care for incontinence with the senior you love.

Dementia care calls for both compassion and creativity to manage a range of complicated behaviors and effects, and that’s particularly true in relation to incontinence, something that is incredibly common in Alzheimer’s along with other types of dementia. These tried-and-true techniques are usually effective in minimizing the effect of incontinence and curtailing an escalation of emotions in someone you love with dementia.

  1. Choose your words very carefully. As opposed to talking about incontinence products as “diapers,” for example, call them “briefs” or “pull-up underwear.” Nevertheless, take the cue from your senior loved one; if she or he prefers to utilize the term “diapers” and appears confident with that, then follow along.
  2. Clean out regular underwear from the senior’s dresser. To avoid confusion or opposition to wearing incontinence products, be sure those are the sole option in his or her wardrobe.
  3. Test various products. With different brands, sizes, and absorbency levels on the market, it might take some trial and error to discover one that’s most comfortable and effective.
  4. Use backup products overnight. To help prevent the older adult from waking up throughout the night from incontinence-related issues, try inserting booster pads inside the absorbent underwear, and use products marked for heaviest coverage. Waterproof mattress protectors and disposable bed pads are usually also extremely helpful.
  5. Ensure quick access into the bathroom. Perform a walk-through of the areas the older adult spends time in to estimate how easy it really is for him or her to reach the bathroom. Specifically, remove any clutter, cords, or throw rugs in the senior’s walking path to protect against falls.
  6. If an accident does occur… Maintain a calm demeanor so as not to offend (or further upset) the older adult, and say something like, “It would appear that something may have spilled on your pants; let’s get you some clean clothes,” or “It seems like your pants are wet; that happens every now and then.”
  7. Address unwillingness to keep products on. For older adults who regularly make an effort to remove incontinence products, first see if you’re able to uncover the particular reason why. If uncomfortableness is an issue, try several types of products for one that will be more comfortable. Or your senior loved one may be attempting to change if there’s a feeling of wetness.

In all instances, watch the older adult’s skin for warning signs of rash or irritation, and contact his or her medical professional if noted.

For more incontinence care tips, or to find out about Responsive Home Care’s dependable, professional care for assisting with incontinence and dementia, reach out to us at 954-486-6440 for senior care services in Fort Lauderdale, FL and the surrounding area.

5 Tips for a Better Home Environment for Seniors with Alzheimer’s Disease

happy senior woman reading with dogAgitation is among the more difficult effects of dementia, and may be exceedingly frustrating for family members to manage. The key is in taking steps to handle agitation before it’s felt and expressed by the senior loved one, which involves keeping track of what has triggered these feelings in the past, and establishing a home environment in which those stimulants are eliminated or minimized. The following tips can help:

  1. Designate an area of retreat. When life starts to be overwhelming, having a specially created area where your loved one can go to de-stress often works wonders in restoring calm. This could be a designated room, or simply a comfortable corner with numerous soothing activities conveniently available, quiet music, a soothing scent to enjoy such as lavender or vanilla – whatever supplies peace and relaxation when it comes to the senior.
  2. Assess the house for upsetting items. Pay attention to exactly what your senior loved one is sensitive to, for example, certain decorations, mirrors (that could give the illusion of somebody else watching), window coverings that do not adequately filter out the darkening evening sky (prompting sundowning issues), etc.
  3. Minimize noise along with other distractions. Soft carpeting is frequently more comforting for people with dementia than harder floor materials, which can reverberate or accentuate the sound of footsteps. Keep the television or radio at a reduced volume, and set to a station that offers soft music instead of alarming, graphic news presentations. Close windows if outside noises seem to cause annoyance.
  4. Modify lighting. Ensure that each room the senior may enter is effectively lit, with natural light as much as possible, or higher wattage lightbulbs, carefully adjusting to eliminate any unusual shapes or shadows caused by the light.
  5. Keep regularly used items readily available. Whatever the senior has a tendency to want to make use of or hold most frequently ought to be put in a visible location where he or she can discover it easily. Attaching labels with words or pictures of what a senior loved one may want to locate in cabinets or even the refrigerator is also an excellent way to help bypass frustration.

Let Responsive Home Care’s expert dementia caregivers help preserve the most calming and peaceful environment for a cherished older adult you love, and provide the skilled, innovative, compassionate care that makes life the best it can be. Just some of the various ways we are able to enhance life for individuals with dementia include:

  • Specifically created activities centered on a senior’s particular interests and abilities
  • Companionship in order to help older adults stay socially engaged
  • Evening respite care allowing family caregivers the chance for a restful night when an older adult is challenged by sundowning
  • And a lot more

Reach out to us at 954-486-6440 to ask about an in-home consultation and to find out about our exceptional dementia care for older adults today!