PROTECTING GOD’S ELDERLY

Once we trot past the magic number 50, we begin to mother and care for,
well, THE WORLD. Somehow, once we cross that magic number we think we can give advice to any and all. After all, we have ‘been there, done that’—right?

And then we hit the ripe old age of 60—wow! Are we smart now or what? But the adventure is just beginning, little did we know. We are learning: I am aging! My body is aging! Wow! Now what? Now where do we go? What do we do?

WE JUST KEEP ON GROWING! That is what life is: growth.

We hit age 70 and if we haven’t figured out the following, I teach you:
LESSON NUMBER 1: we keep busy. We keep our brain busy—we read, we talk, we share. We keep our body busy—we exercise. And we eat correctly, with balanced diets.

LESSON NUMBER 2: We learn new stuff. Whether we learn from computer searches or from History or Discovery Channels on TV, or from books—it matters little. Just as long as we keep on learning.

LESSON NUMBER 3: We ‘pay it forward’—we give what was given to us over all our years, we give as needed to others. Example: we see the sadness in someone. We say something; anything to that person, to help the moment pass. We give a moment of joy as has been given to us, by someone in time, long ago. Don’t bottle up the beauty of being Catholic; PAY IT FORWARD!

LESSON NUMBER 4: Question your meds. Now here is where we have to stop and think: when is “too much” really TOO MUCH???
We, the Seniors of this population, do take a lot of meds. Less would be better, but we get these prescriptions from our doctors and so we follow them. But, what about these meds? I started doing research on meds and the research behind them. I learned something.
According to an article in THE ATLANTIC JOURNAL, written by Dr. J.A. Ionnidis, much medical research on drugs is simply not accurate. He says, the groups studied are too small. And, the studies cannot be repeated to show that they are true. This is very serious. All studies should be able to be reproduced.
If this is true, then much of the medication that we take is not going to do what it is supposed to do. Yet, we pay for this stuff, in many cases, much money. So, why would anyone allow this? The Doctor says: ‘the more that money and politics are involved in the research, the less likely the results (of the studies) are to be valid.”
Do we consider the side effects of our meds at all? We not only should consider them, we must. Start reading, oh Elders of the world. I don’t care how small the print is, READ IT! Get a large magnifying glass if needed, but READ THE SIDE EFFECTS!
There are more lessons to learn but, right now this is a good start.

 

 

 

Life is on a camel curveTeachers know the ‘camel curve’ of learning, testing and all about kids. So, let’s apply this to the other end of the curve. I have learned that life is built on a ‘camel curve’ too.We are born–and everyone looks at children, with joy, with fear and hope, with protecting angel’s wings.  Then we grow into teens, then adults and then, into our 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s.   Now, it gets tricky…we age into eldeWhat I have learned is that once you get into the world of elderliness, at the other end of that great camel curve of life, you are rarely looked at with joy, with fear and hope, and no one spreads their protecting angel wings over you.  In short, you are alone in being elderly.

So, now what? 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Do You Wish to See Fear In the Eyes of others?????

Just say the word: “Alzheimers’s”.  That word has the same power as the word ‘leprosy’ had over 100 years ago.  Fear.  Sadness. Confusion.  Yup.
We, the elderly, live at the edge of tomorrow, and the next Life. Eagarly, we hope for Heaven and Jesus and Mary and the whole heavenly Hosts. After all, we have lived long and well and we have worked and waited. We are eagar and ready. I never knew anything other than one grew older, wiser, and then went to God.
But there is oh so much more that I did not know.
I did not know that 1 out of 3 of us will have a special something happening to us. Why it happens, we do not know. That it will happen we do know.
It’s a fearsome word. I don’t know when I first heard this word, but it is the most dreaded word that I know of. ‘Alzheimer’s’. I never knew of this word until most recently. Twenty years ago, being ‘senile’ or showing ‘senility’ was the only descriptive word for an elderly person who forgot things or acted strange. And, it was about 20 years ago that an Alzheimer’s Association was begun.
Thanks to this association, which exists almost entirely to study and to teach about this disease, we now know so much more. First of all, the disease starts in the brain, with ‘plaques’ and ‘tangles’ happening between the neurons. This happening is the disease: Alzheimers. Somewhere down the years will come the next phase: dementia. Dementia may take up to some 20 years to show itself. Depression, sleeplessness, anxiety, agitation are just some symptoms felt along the way.
Exactly where those ‘plaques and tangles’ develop in the brain is very important. Frontal lobe alzheimers is different than other locations in the brain. The resulting behavior is all related to what each part of the brain does. I know about frontal lobe alzheimer’s because it is something my husband has developed. A pet scan was done and affirmed its existence. (Actually, there were 2 Pet Scans given, about a year apart.) The frontal lobe ‘plaques and tangles’ alzheimer’s has to do with planning and organizing and regulating behavior.
There are all sorts of Alzheimer’s to develop:brain stem alz, amygdala alz, hippocampus alz, parietal lobe alz, temporal lobe alz, occipital lobe alz and on and on I could go. And, if you have a parent who had Alzheimer’s so too can you develop it. No cure yet for any of this stuff, but you can slow down its progression
July 16, 2012 — Being physically active — whether it’s aerobic activity like walking or resistance training to build muscles — can keep your brain sharp and potentially reduce your risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease, new studies show.
Exercise can even grow the brains of older adults, says researcher Kirk I. Erickson, PhD, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Pittsburgh.
Aug 2013 – Exercising for 150 minutes each week may be the best treatment for Alzheimer’s, according to a study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Nov. 9, 2010 issue of the journal Neurology gives this study concerning the power of being bilingual and how this empowers a person.

CT brain scans of the Alzheimer’s patients showed that, among patients who are functioning at the same level, those who are bilingual have more advanced brain deterioration than those who spoke just one language. But this difference wasn’t apparent from the patients’ behaviors, or their abilities to function. The bilingual people acted like monolingual patients whose disease was less advanced.

“Once the disease begins to compromise this region of the brain, bilinguals can continue to function,” Bialystok said. “Bilingualism is protecting older adults, even after Alzheimer’s disease is beginning to affect cognitive function.”
In addition, bilingual children who use their second language regularly are better at prioritizing tasks and multitasking compared with monolingual children, said Ellen Bialystok, a psychologist at York University in Toronto.
“It’s not that being bilingual prevents the disease,” Bialystok told MyHealthNewsDaily. Instead, she explained, it allows those who develop Alzheimer’s to deal with it better.
Moreover, other research suggests that these benefits of bilingualism apply not only to those who are raised from birth speaking a second language, but also to people who take up a foreign tongue later in life.”
Add to the above the new role of coconut oil added to your food—it contains MCT, (MCT), the same ingredient found in large quantities in coconut oil. A small pilot study found that the drug helped slow and even reverse the effects of Alzheimer’s in a significant percentage of those tested. We put a scoop of it daily into our oatmeal.
So, while we wait to be called by God to Heaven, we can prepare ourselves through awareness, knowledge, daily exercise, and yes, coconut oil in our oatmeal. –Georgia Hedrick Senior Advocate

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

HOW YOU WALK SAYS A LOT ABOUT YOU AND YOUR ELDERLY HEALTH

Health & Science
An aging person’s walking pace
may be indicator of Alzheimer’s risk, study says
By Fredrick Kunkle August 1

The way older people walk may provide a reliable clue about how well their brain is aging and could eventually allow doctors to determine whether they are at risk of Alzheimer’s, researchers have found.
The study, involving thousands of older people in several countries, suggests that those whose walking pace begins to slow and who also have cognitive complaints are more than twice as likely to develop dementia within 12 years.
The findings are among the latest attempts to find and develop affordable, inexpensive diagnostic tools to determine whether a person is at risk for dementia. Last month, researchers attending the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Copenhagen presented several studies focused on locating biomarkers of dementia in its earliest stages.
Among other things, scientists reported a connection between dementia and sense of smell that suggested a common scratch-and-sniff test could be used to help identify onset of dementia, while other researchers suggested that eye scans could also be useful someday be able to detect Alzheimer’s. Different studies found a new abnormal protein linked to Alzheimer’s and a possible link between sleep disorders and the onset of dementia.
Now, researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and Montefiore Medical Center say that a simple test to measure a patient’s cognitive abilities and walking speed could provide a new diagnostic tool to identify people at risk for dementia. It could be especially important tool in low- and middle-income countries with less access to sophisticated and costly technology, the scientists said.
They cautioned, however, that slower walking speed is not by itself sufficient to determine whether a person has pre-dementia, as people’s gait can be affected by common age-related ailments such as arthritis or inner ear problems that affect one’s balance.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia. More than 5 million Americans have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and the numbers are expected to double by 2050 as the population ages.
The Einstein study, published last month by a team led by neurology and geriatrics professor Joe Verghese , sifted data on nearly 27,000 people from 17 countries. The subjects were at least 60 years old and free of dementia.
With a growing body of evidence that slowing gait occurs early in dementia, the researchers set out to determine whether older people with slower gaits would also be more likely to get dementia and suffer cognitive decline than those who did not.
Using a simple test that measured walking speed and cognitive abilities, the researchers focused on four of 22 studies that tested 4,812 people and then followed them with annual evaluations for 12 years to see how many developed dementia.
The researchers found that nearly 10 percent of the people suffered from motoric cognitive risk syndrome (MCR), a recently identified condition characterized by slowing walking speeds and cognitive lapses. They also found that the condition was a factor for cognitive decline. Walking speeds were measured in most cases by timing subjects over a short distance.
“Even though we think of walking as a automatic process, it really isn’t,” Verghese said in an interview Friday. “When you’re walking out in the real world, it’s a complex action.”
He said that as a young researcher into aging, he had noticed years ago that patients who were walking more slowly also performed poorly on cognigitive ability tests. In 2002, Verghese and others published a study in the 2002 New England Journal of Medicine showing that abnormal gait could be an indicator of dementia risk.
The latest study, which linked gait and cognitive complaints to dementia risk, appeared July 16 in Neurology, a journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Adventures continues….

THE ADVENTURE CONTINUES…CAREGIVERS UNITED!!!

Once we trot past the magic number 50, we begin to mother and care for, well, THE WORLD. Somehow, once we cross that magic number we think we can give advice to any and all. After all, we have ‘been there, done that’—right?

And then we hit the ripe old age of 60—wow! Are we smart now or what? But the adventure is just beginning, little did we know. We are learning: I am aging! My body is aging! Wow! Now what? Now where do we go? What do we do?

Answer: WE JUST KEEP ON GROWING!

We hit age 70 and if we haven’t figured out what’s next, let me tell you:

LESSON NUMBER 1: we keep busy. We keep our brain busy—we read, we talk, we share. We keep our body busy—we exercise. And we eat correctly, with balanced diets.

LESSON NUMBER 2: We learn new stuff. Whether we learn from computer searches or from History or Discovery Channels on TV, or from books—it matters little. Just as long as we keep on learning.

LESSON NUMBER 3: We ‘pay it forward’—we give what was given to us over all our years, we give as needed to others. Example: we see the sadness in someone. We say something; anything to that person, to help the moment pass. We give a moment of joy to someone else as has been given to us, by someone back in time, long ago. That’s part of the beauty of the adventure we are on. It is part of the beauty of being Catholic.

ALERT! ALERT! ALERT!
Recently, I learned of a study supported by a University hat is looking for people our age, who are ‘Caregivers’ to another. This Study needs people to be part of it. This is part a class instruction study for an hour and a half each meeting, for over 6 meetings and part telephone interviewing. This CarePro Class repeats again in January.
Interested? Call: Cathy Welsh at 786-8061.

Georgia Hedrick

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Being Elderly–it is an adventure!

2–SENIORS! THE ADVENTURE CONTINUES…

We are marching into our elder years, that no one ever prepared us for. It’s a brave new world we march into, because, well, we don’t really know what is going to happen.

Rule one, I have learned, is KEEP ACTIVE! It doesn’t matter how or what you do, but DO SOMETHING! Last Thursday, at CURVES, an 85 year old woman in a walker signed up for a year and paid the year ahead of time! She could only do 3 of the 24 machines, and it took about 3 to 5 minutes for her to move from the walker to the machine. But she was determined and dedicated to do this.
Yes, she has to use the ACCESS bus service and wait on their schedule—but she does it! She told me that she has to get out of the house and talk to others. That is being active!
We each and all have to start somewhere to DO SOMETHING. We cannot sit and stare at a TV endlessly. Or just knit. Or just read. Or do any one thing endlessly without mixing our activities into doing many things.

Maybe we can’t do what we used to do as much, but we can do some of it.

I used to cut and stack the weeds for the whole acre we live upon, in a morning. Now, at 74, I can only rake up a pile, for about an hour or so, before my back hurts. Then, I have to do something else inside the house. I wash the clothes or vacuum a room. Maybe I write something on the computer, or research an idea for a few hours.

My new research topic is Alzheimer’s disease because it is hitting close to home. I need to know what to expect. I have observed some of the ‘what to expect’: losing or misplacing valuable objects, constantly forgetting what day it is, or what is to be done on any given day, forgetting pieces of one’s family history, greater difficulty and confusion in following multistep tasks…and so on.

In the U.S., there are seven ‘risk factors that contribute to 54% of Alz cases with physical inactivity topping the list. Next on the list is depression and the 3rd item is smoking. These are double digit contributors as risk factors.

Did you know that cases of Alzheimer’s have risen 66% since 2000?

The saddest part of this disease is the reaction others give. Terror. Horror. Shock. If you tell them instead that someone you know has cancer, or alcoholism or some other disease–there is commiseration and sympathy—because these are sometimes curable or containable. But say that word: Alzheimer’s and watch the eyes. You’ll see sympathy, yes, but you also will see hopelessness and fear. There is no cure nor real medication for this disease—no matter what any ads say.

There is only one thing to do.

Use the opportunity for love, real love—the ‘for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health’ kind of love. We promised it; now we show it. It is the opportunity of a lifetime for the ‘be there’ kind of love.

This, too, is part of the Adventure we are on.

Sources: http://www.alz.org http://www.AAIC2011.org

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

ALzheimer’s info continued (2)

Featured image

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Living and learning about Alzheimer’s–it is specific to each person

Featured imagee

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ok. Strange things are happening. I thought I posteded something…yet, no.

I’ll get the hang of this yet.  But where are the other photos of me at age 4 and then at age 7 and then now?  Where did it go?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Bruce and Georgia

Bruce and Georgia

Here we are, in 2013, after 38 years of marriage and don’t we look good!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment