, , ,

Dementia

‘Dementia’ is a term used to describe a wide range of symptoms of cognitive impairment. Witnessing dementia in a parent is one of the hardest things we might face as adults. As we see our parents become dependent and disabled, we confront the vulnerability of someone who at one time we viewed as strong and powerful. There are many types of dementia and managing dementia can be overwhelming. We must balance worry and the realization that roles have changed. To make dealing with this challenge somewhat less difficult, let us get acquainted with three of the most common types of dementia and their symptoms.

3 Common Types of Dementia:

 

Alzheimer’s disease

 

Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is the most common type of dementia, affecting many Americans over the age of 65.

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease

The symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease often mirror signs of common stress, and it can be easy to overlook symptoms for a while, not realizing a bigger problem could be at hand. Though symptoms such as not being able to focus, forgetfulness, and negative attitude, are symptoms that could result from something as simple as not getting enough sleep at night, these are also common indicators of early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Other symptoms of the illness include:

  • Inability to recall numerical sequences like phone numbers and addresses
  • Difficulty planning and solving problems
  • Trouble completing or remembering to do everyday tasks like self-care and chores
  • Forgetting material that you just watched or read, as well as misplacing things often
  • Withdrawing from social situations and changes in personality

Vascular Dementia

Vascular Dementia is a type of dementia that involves impairments in cognitive function caused by damage to blood vessels caused by multiple strokes. Some specialists favor the term “vascular cognitive impairment” (VCI) to “vascular dementia” because they feel it conveys the concept that vascular thinking changes can range from mild to severe.

Symptoms of Vascular Dementia:

The symptoms of vascular dementia depend on the part of the brain affected and the extent of the damage. Similar to Alzheimer’s disease, the symptoms of vascular dementia are often unrecognizable for a long time. They may include:

  • Confusion
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • The decline in the ability to analyze a situation, develop an effective plan and communicate that plan to others
  • Memory loss
  • Significant slowness of thought

 

Lewy Body Dementia

Lewy Body Dementia (LBD) is a progressive brain disorder in which proteins, called alpha-synuclein, accumulate inside certain brain cells. These accumulated proteins, called Lewy bodies, cause damage to brain cells in areas of the brain that affect mental capabilities, behavior, and movement.

Symptoms of Lewy Body Dementia

Symptoms of LBD may resemble the symptoms of other neurological disorders. For instance, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Yet, cognitive symptoms tend to show earlier in dementia with Lewy bodies than in Parkinson’s disease dementia. The effects of LBD show in each person differently and vary in severity.

Common symptoms of LBD include:

  • Movement disorders
  • Poor regulation of body functions (autonomic nervous system)
  • Cognitive problems
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Depression

 

While cures for dementia continue to baffle the medical world, that does not stop us from learning about different dementias and adjusting our ways of dealing with those who have it. We want to love and care for those we know with dementia to the best of our abilities.

https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/what-is-dementia

, ,

Have Fun – Enjoyable Activities for Older Adults

As you grow older, some of the things you have always loved to do become more difficult than they ever were before. This is a challenging part of aging but something you should keep in mind is, there are lots of appealing and valuable things you can do to improve your health and attitude. Below is a list of activities and hobbies that are sure to keep you entertained as you age.

 

Birdwatch

One popular activity is birdwatching. Birdwatching exercises both your mind and your body. It is a wonderful way to get outside and active. Another great thing about birdwatching is that it is one of the most affordable activities there are. All you need is a field guide and maybe a pair of binoculars!

 

Get to Cooking

Most people have been cooking and baking for years. Many do not realize that cooking and baking can have a good effect on your mental health. Cooking stimulates your senses, it makes you (and whoever you are sharing with) happy, and it can be an outlet to express creativity. If you are searching for an activity to take part in, you may want to dive into an activity you have known all your life and head to your kitchen!

 

Start a Garden

Gardening is an activity that is beneficial both mentally and physically. It improves your memory and attention span, lowers stress, and boosts the feeling of relaxation. When gardening, you are adding to the beauty of your surroundings. You may even be putting food on the table in the process, depending on what you choose to plant. Gardening is an activity you do not have to wait to begin. All you need to start your garden is some land, and seeds from your neighborhood home shop.

 

 

Go for a Walk

One of the best ways to get some exercise and take in the beauty of nature is, going on a walk. Walking helps preserve mobility and independence as you age. It is a low impact activity, where even something as simple as taking a stroll through the park can help keep you in shape.

 

Draw or Paint

Painting and drawing are some hobbies you could incorporate into your everyday life. Not only is painting and drawing peaceful activities and a lot of fun, but there are many other benefits that you can enjoy if you make it your new hobby. Painting and drawing help to enhance fine motor skills, increase brain activity, and work on concentration. All you need is paper and a pencil! If you feel you would like some more professional art tools, you should be able to get all you need and more at your local craft store.

 

Do What You Love

Doing the things that you love will help you to live a happy and healthy lifestyle. All the activities listed are great opportunities for you to exercise your brain, body, and heart. By becoming more active, you will find more enjoyment in your free time. So come on, have fun, and get active!

, , ,

Biggest Fears of Retirement – “Fear of Failure to Finance”

Needles. Heights. Spiders. The dark. All these are things many people are afraid of. However, if you are nearing the age of retirement, what may scare you might not be any of those things. A top concern many individuals approaching retirement have is outliving their savings. Let’s take a look at why this worries many, and a couple of tips to help with this issue.

Affording to Live Through Retirement

Retirement is supposed to be a peaceful time to finally relax and begin living life your way. For many, though, it’s the exact opposite. Most adults over 65 years of age who are living alone cannot afford to pay for their basic needs. No matter your age, the fear of not having enough money is real. We spend most of our lives working to save for the future. When it becomes time for us to rely on what we’ve saved, it can be scary. Most people are afraid that they will not have enough money saved to last through the latter years of their life.  One recent U.S. News & World Report, for example, revealed that in the city of New Orleans, 69 percent of the population over the age of 65 have incomes lower than the poverty line. Little wonder why for many, outliving their money would be a primary concern.

What can be done to address this rising issue? Financial planning well in advance is paramount. Wise money management starts with establishing and maintaining a realistic spending pattern based upon your current income.  For instance, … While many have plans to help them transition into retirement, few have a plan for making it through retirement. That concern is heightened by statistics indicating that people are living longer due in no small part perhaps to advancements made in modern medicine and an increased interest in making healthy lifestyle choices. How is one under the circumstance to determine how much in the way of financial resources is enough? …

It’s important to remember that you will no longer have a steady paycheck with overtime opportunities. The expression, “fixed income” will now become part of your post-retirement vocabulary. Maintaining a daily budget of your living expenses will be something that you will inevitably be forced to do in your new-found circumstance. Doing this can relieve you of long-term financial anxiety. 

Retirement can be a stressful time if you are not properly prepared. The sooner you realize your savings are not where they need to be, the more time you have for adjustment. Start early… the more thought you put into planning your retirement the more you will enjoy it.

, , , , ,

Biggest Fears of Retirement – “Staying Healthy and Affording Health Care”

As a retiree, you expect to spend a large sum of money on health care. Still, many don’t plan appropriately for it. Without a job affording the health care you need could seem near impossible. If you take good care of your health now, you’ll be able to have a quality life and there will be a financial advantage. Your yearly expense will be far less if you are healthy.

Health Decline

Declining health is something we all will have to face in life sooner or later. Although genetics plays a part in health during old age, one important thing that affects your health is how you’ve lived throughout your younger years. If you smoked, the consequences in later life have a chance of being lung cancer, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), heart disease or even vision loss. Poor diet is an additional cause of poor health in the elderly. Overeating can cause diabetes, heart problems, and many other illnesses. Many cannot afford to eat properly, still, even if it is within their means, some disregard the importance of keeping a proper diet. This makes them far more susceptible to disease. There are many things you can do to take care of your health while you grow older. Eat smart, the digestive system slows down with age, so eating foods high in fiber would be a good thing to do. Seniors can more easily become dehydrated. Make sure to drink plenty of water to keep your energy up. Always get enough sleep. This can be difficult with restlessness and waking throughout the night which is common among seniors. What can help? Dimming the lights in the evening will encourage drowsiness and keep your bedroom cool, quiet and comfortable. This can help provide you with an atmosphere whereby you can sleep more peacefully.

Affording Health Care

No matter how much you prepare, it’s hard to foresee certain expenses leading up to retirement. Being able to afford good healthcare is a thought that brings worry to those on the brink of retirement. The fear of losing health insurance can keep you from leaving your job or make you want to put off your retirement. There aren’t a lot of Americans who are mindful of the huge burden upcoming health care costs present. Having emergency funds that can take care of expenses for at least half a year would be extremely helpful. This should help cover the cost of some unexpected events that can occur. Do your best to maintain good health, look into a good quality health insurance plan, and think of medical costs while you prepare for retirement, this will help you ultimately. Maybe even moving to a place with good healthcare options would be of interest to you.

*Disclaimer: The information provided is not intended to replace professional medical advice or to diagnose or treat. 

,

Honoring Your Parents

Show Honor to Your Mother and Father

Taking good care of your elderly parents will take a lot of time and strength. Make caring for them the main concern, don’t be hesitant to ask for support. Make more time to communicate. You may not always be ready for an unexpected change of circumstances. Maybe think about getting a part-time caretaker. Everyone’s position and what they can do is different. One thing you should always make sure to do is to honor your parents. What are the best ways for you to do that?

Help Support Material Needs 

Honoring your parents might include helping with their material needs. For instance, food, clothing, and shelter. Some may be capable of providing for themselves, which is wonderful. If ever it should come to a point where they are no longer able to take care of their material needs, honor your parents by doing what you can to meet their needs. Not everyone can help others materially. But just doing your best to care for what you can for your parents is greatly appreciated. They do not expect you to do more than what you are capable of.

Acknowledge Emotional Needs

Providing for your parents means more than just providing for their material needs. All of us have emotional needs. Show your gratefulness for all the hard work, love, and care they’ve put into raising you to be the person you are today. Realize that like everyone else, older ones need love and support. We should look for ways to help conserve the dignity of our maturing parents. For example, being a good listener will keep us from insisting on doing things our way without considering their opinions. They need to feel appreciated, and that their lives are still worth living. Show your parents you love them. If they aren’t living with you, remember that your keeping in contact can mean a lot to them. Write them a letter, give them a call, or stop by for a visit. This will bring them so much happiness.

Be Compassionate

As the years move on, older people may find things to be more difficult than they used to be. They may need help. At times, though out of concern, children can become protective and controlling. This can cause parents to resist what they view as efforts to rob them of their independence. They are adults with a life’s worth of experience and wisdom from looking after and making decisions for themselves. Their individuality may center on their role as parents and adults. Parents who feel they have to give up control of their lives to their children could become depressed. It would be nice to let your parents make their own choices when possible. Don’t make decisions about what is best for your parents without speaking to them first. You want them to feel included in the decisions made for them. If they no longer have as many freedoms, you should let them keep the ones they do still have.

Keep a Good Mindset

At times a challenge that adult children have in honoring their parents involves the personal connection they had with their parents in the past. Maybe they were tough, cold or unloving. You might still hold on to anger from the frustration or hurt they’ve caused. How can you overcome these feelings? Try to understand that maybe they had a rough upbringing and have emotional wounds that have caused them to be who they are. Focus on the good in them. Maybe your father never showed you much affection, but you know that he always did what he could to provide for the family’s needs. That is something you can be thankful for. Always show compassion, kindness, mildness, and patience. Continue loving and putting up with one another.