Jun 302014
 
Remembering the Best Part, An Excerpt from Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living With Alzheimer’s & Other Dementias

Love is a symbol of eternity. It wipes out all sense of time, destroying all memory of a beginning and all fear of an end. ~Author Unknown I stopped at the desk to sign in and explained to the receptionist I was a reporter from the local newspaper and was doing a story on a gentleman who lived there, a World War II veteran. As I made my way down the corridor to Mr. Walter’s room, [...]

Jun 142014
 
Go Big or Go Home: Advocating for Dad

Father’s Day – or any day, for that matter – is not a typical day for Jason. Jason is a teenage caregiver. While many young adults of 18 are thinking about final exams and high school graduation parties, Jason Hatke’s mind is looking much further into the future. At age 46, Jason’s father Mike was diagnosed with younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Jason was only 13. There were signs in the years before Jason’s father was diagnosed. [...]

Dec 062013
 
When My World Became All Things Alzheimer's

“In all likelihood, you have mild cognitive impairment that will eventually lead to younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease, especially with your family’s history.” With that brief pronouncement, my world, my husband’s world and our children’s world changed forever. My husband Jim was 48 when we heard those words. I was 40. Our daughter was 9 and our son was 6. I wasn’t exactly sure what it all meant. The more reading and research I did, the more depressed I became. [...]

Nov 252013
 
Five Tips to Help Caregivers Get Their Zzzs

When it comes to caring for a parent, spouse or other loved one, sleep is not for beauty. It is essential to maintain health and the energy needed to be a caregiver. Uninterrupted, restorative sleep (7 to 9 hours) is recommended by most experts. But for many of the nation’s 65 million family caregivers, sleep is an elusive luxury.  In fact, a National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC) study on caregiver health risks found 87 percent of those [...]

Aug 132013
 
 Dietary Saturated Fat & the Risk of Alzheimer's

In a study published online in JAMA Neurology, researchers found that dietary saturated fat reduced the body’s levels of apolipoprotein E, also called ApoE, which helps remove amyloid beta proteins out of the brain. Essentially, people who received a high-saturated-fat, high-sugar diet showed a change in their ApoE, such that the ApoE would be less able to help clear the amyloid. ApoE4 status is associated with an increased risk of cognitive decline and elevated brain amyloid deposition. [...]

Jun 212013
 
With Hope and Strength for Margie

My wife of 32 years, Margie, started showing symptoms of Alzheimer’s at age 50. Three years later, we met with her primary care physician who ran down the list of warning signs. He was sure it wasn’t Alzheimer’s because “she was way too young for that.” He was wrong. Now at age 57, Margie is in the late stages of younger-onset Alzheimer’s. Margie’s mother died of Alzheimer’s in 2010 and her sister, now in her [...]

Dec 032012
 
Embracing the Caregiver Role

In the summer of 2011, my sister Gina and I held the distinction of having two parents in the hospital at the same time. On top of that, they were in different hospitals; one hour apart. I was drawn to our mother, and my sister was pulled to our Dad. We didn’t pressure each other. Our natural abilities paired with what each parent needed at the time. Gina is a doctor in teacher’s clothing. She can read [...]

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