There has been ample speculation and studies to support this article. But here is another one worth your time to read. Diabetes in the aging and eldelry is getting to be such a major health threat, that's it's worth our time to consider all logial options. Read on, here:
Falling is a danger for eldelry loved ones.
The Dutch, like people elsewhere, are living longer than in previous generations. Courses that teach fall prevention, and how to fallcorrectly, are gaining popularity.
This link leads to a very interesting article from the New York TImes that explores and explains what the Dutch are doing:
It's the case in many elderly: I hear you, I hear you, or maybe I don’t
The clinical scenario
It was one of those unusual clinics where I saw three similar cases in which the exact same issue surfaced and I was able to demonstrate that in “real time” to residents in training with me in the care of the elderly. The first of the encounters was with a couple accompanied by two family members. The couple lived at home with some personal care help and each had some degree of cognitive impairment, but not enough to completely interfere with reasonably safe functioning when under some supervision. I was interviewing and examining one member of the couple and my resident was doing the same to the other.
Denial or hearing impairment: a common scenario
As I embarked on my interview with the patient it became clear that as noted in previous visits, he was quite hard of hearing and according to the son who was with him, refused to wear his hearing aids because “they bothered him” and he often stated that he had “no problem with hearing”, while each time leaning closer to me to hear my question or answer and turning to the son to repeat the question. With his wife, the resident also noted that in addition to some degree of cognitive impairment there was a significant degree of hearing impairment.
Low cost, effective hearing enhancement: very dramatic at times
I retrieved my Pocket Talker® which I keep in the office for such cases. I put the earphones first on him and gradually turned the volume and suddenly his face lit up as I asked if he could hear me and he said, “very well”. We practiced a bit with the device until it was clear that he could engage in a three way conversation with his son and me.
The resident was now ready to review the wife’s issues with me and the son entered the room with us as did his father. They had already learned from me that during the discussion, while I asked questions the son and husband were to sit quietly despite a desire to “help with answers” unless I asked them specifically to comment on something said to me by the patient. The resident had reiterated the story to me of mild dementia and emphasized that she was quite hard of hearing; she had refused hearing aids although the family was planning on acquiring them. I again retrieved the Pocket Talker® that I had just used with her husband, put on the head phones and as I increased the volume, like her husband’s, her face lit up when she heard my questions and I looked at the son and husband and said to them, “maybe you can get a deal if you get two of these”.
A hearing augmentation “hat trick”
Later, a different resident saw another patient. This resident had not been apprised of the earlier experience that we had with the couple. She recounted a history of progressive cognitive decline in the patient and also mentioned an issue with hearing that the patient’s daughter raised. Like the previous couple the daughter said her mother absolutely refused to go for a hearing assessment and said that she did not want “hearing aids” as she “did not need them” and they were “a waste of money”.
I carried out the same manoeuvre that I had used with the previous couple. Although less dramatic than the previous cases, the way she responded to my repeated questions clearly indicated that she could hear better with the device. In this particular case, I was not convinced yet that some of the apparent cognitive impairment may have been perceived as such due to her hearing impairment or at least aggravated by it. I explained to the daughter I was not yet sure of the degree of cognitive impairment, because “if you can’t hear it, you can’t remember it”.
Don’t overlook hearing as part of the cognitive assessment
In these three situations during one clinic session the young residents who in their careers would see many elderly people with cognitive impairment or dementia, the message of the importance in hearing was clearly demonstrated. It can be hard to convince older people to utilize hearing aids or pay for them. For many a simple and inexpensive Pocket Talker® may be a device that can be used as an introduction to the benefits of hearing enhancement or may on its own solve the hearing deficiency problem for the purpose of social communication.
This seems to be a big favourite year over year:
Suggestions of how to bet support aging parents and loved ones through family events.
Please take a look, and share with your friends, too.
Have a wonderful holiday season and we'll be back posting more in January.
This was originally from the New York Times News Service by Roni Caryn Rabin, and appeared in Canada on May 26th, 2017. I'd filed it, and forgot about it, but having just found it agian, feel it's important to share. So please take a look a this and reflect…
‘Conscientious daughter’ is best long-term care plan!
This week, the medical journal JAMA Neurology highlighted a looming crisis for women and their employers: The growing ranks of dementia patients who will end up relying on family members, typically daughters, for their care.
“The best long-term care insurance in our country is a conscientious daughter,” wrote the authors, all of whom are fellows at Stanford University’s Clinical Excellence Research Center, which studies new methods of health-care delivery.
The authors note that by 2030, one in five Americans will be 65 or older, and the number of older Americans living with dementia is expected to increase to 8.5 million, up from 5.5 million now.
Most dementia patients eventually require round-the-clock care, yet there is no clear national road map or overarching plan for providing it. Most of the care for older adults in the United States – from paying bills to feeding, bathing and dressing – falls on unpaid caregivers and most of them are women.
Although men do provide some caregiving for older family members with dementia, the burden is not shared equally, experts say.
“Women are at the epicentre of caregiving as a whole, and Alzheimer’s caregiving in particular,” said Ruth Drew, director of family and information services at the Alzheimer’s Association. “Even though two-thirds of people with Alzheimer’s are women themselves, two-thirds of the caregivers are also women. So there are more wives caring for their husbands than the reverse, more daughters caring for parents than sons.”
“We see a lot of daughters caring not only for their parents, but their in-laws,” she added.
Most experts don’t anticipate that changing significantly. That’s because, despite progress, women continue to do a disproportionate amount of child care.
Although men have become more involved and taken on more responsibilities at home, “it hasn’t been a significant contribution and certainly hasn’t kept pace with women’s increased
participation in the work force,” said Dr. Clifford Sheckter, a fellow at the Clinical Excellence Research Center, surgery resident and a co-author of the essay.
When it comes to caring for people with dementia, “the numbers are skewed strongly toward women, and it’s hard to imagine that by 2030 the numbers will even out to 50-50,” said Nicholas Bott, a neuropsychologist and another co-author who is also a fellow at the Clinical Excellence Research Center. “It shouldn’t be an unspoken rule that this falls on certain members of the family, but as of now, it still is falling primarily on the daughters and female spouses more than on men.”
Where’s your head at when it comes to parent care?
So I’m watching a younger friend in what from my vantage point looks like a life and death struggle of values and wills about how to deal with his failing parents.
His father’s now 89; his mother’s 86, and they’re both on the steep and slippery slide toward needing major attention and care. His father is clearly suffering from some form of dementia, seemingly deteriorating by the day. His slip of a mother is frail and just a week ago broke her elbow in a fall and tests show osteoporosis is going to be a major health issue.
My friend is very focused on his career and social status. He really does have what’s often called a ‘trophy wife’. And two still young kids who are keeners and work hard at school and all the other activities they’re pressed to take.
The more evident his parents’ ills, the more he dives into his work and presses ‘the wife’ into service—to deal with his parents, support them, take them where they have to be taken, and even cook for them.
I know for a fact that he really loves his parents, and feels his achievements are due to their full court press on focusing his life, education, and career. Yet right now, he’s avoiding them and working harder than ever.
I have no idea what’s happening in his head at the moment. I only see conflict: the deeply rooted love vs. the distance he’s keeping.
Something’s out of whack. I think his drive for career success is a bit of a refuge because maybe he doesn’t know how express his affections and caring for his parents.
Do you take a regular reality check of where you stand in your support of aging parents?
ELderly financil abuse keeps getting a bigger issue.
As an elder, or more often as the child of an enderly parent or relative, please take a vary careful look at anything that's offered, foisted, pressed on you…
We're seeing more and more scames being launched onto the elderly.
Please take a careful double look… examine, consider, and don't buy in right away!
See this site for more…
Have you heard this from an aging parent? "It's a last wish: to die at home".
I've heard that from hundreds of families.
And it's not an unrealistic wish.
There is a certain comfort and dignity to being able to die in one's own bed, in one's own home. Clearly this is not an option for a parent whose been institutionalized in a hospital or nursing home. Howevever, it seems that dying at home with the appropriate care for someone who is sliding toward the end can be accommodated.
Hospic-like arrangements can be provided in the home, and ideally as much of the broader family would be engaged in the process.
This also can allow time to share memories, and if possible photos.
It's worth exporing if the circumstances are right.
The sandwich generation has a challenge. Why?
Because many of us have it coming and going.
‘Coming’ is our now adult kids who rediscover home as a good, safe, and, to tell the whole truth, financially very convenient place to be for a while. It might be for lack of a job or a failed marriage or simply rents getting too high. But consider that ‘for a while’ can become pretty open ended.
‘Going’ is our now ever more elderly and frail parents, who brave on and still want to command our lives, but who, in fact, are in every more need of help and support. The occasional dollop of help has become the daily routine.
And we’re stuck in the middle, striving to balance both being good parents and good children and often rationalizing that we can handle push and shove at the same time without imploding or exploding. We’re the shoulder generation, carrying a lot on those shoulders.
Are you into this scene? Is coming and going becoming a real part of your real life? If it is, what are you doing about it? Why? And how? Because in your own self interest, you should.
It just happened to my wife, an avid early morning walker. She does everything ‘right’ in terms of the ‘right’ shoes, coat, scarf, hat—you name it –she does it. The only thing she does not do is make sure the weather is perfect and receptive to activities of middle, later age, and elderly individuals.