How infection make stroke-caused brain damage worse

If you or your parent hasa high risk of stroke, take note: infections, especially those that existed before the stroke, can make things a lot worse for your brain.In a new study out of the University of Manchester, researchers found that an inflammatory response by the immune system to streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumonia) made things 50% to 90% in mice following a stroke. And the older the animals, the worse the injury, especially if they had hardening of the arteries....more

Vitamin E may slow functional decline of Alzheimer's and decrease caregiver burden

If you take care of someone with Alzheimer's (or expect you will in the future), take note: A new study from the icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai found that Vitamin E may slow the functional decline in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's. By "functional decline" the researchers are referring to problems with daily living, such as preparing meals, planning, shopping and traveling.The researchers found that Vitamin E delayed the progression of the decline by 19% per year. That's about 6.2 months benefit!...more

Mother on the Edge

This post originally appeared on the Mothers Central blog. You can see it here in its original form.  Thanks to Kate for letting me post it here in full.It was a desperate cry for help, and one that I could not ignore. ...more

To The Manor Retired (One More Day)

One more day.   Then the fingertip I am holding on to my old work life will let go and allow that ship drift away.  One can't be positive that the right decisions have been made.  But in the last week,  something (not sure what specifically) has caused a turn around in my outlook on life.  A change of the tide.  It might be the new medications.   It might be the ten pounds I...more

Dear God, Please Help My Mother Die

I am not a religious person.  I’m not even sure I believe in a higher power, let alone one true God.  Even so, for the past several years I often find myself praying.When I do pray, it is always about my mother who has Alzheimer’s disease....more
*sniff*more

MRI scan can tell if it's Alzheimer's or dementia

A new piece in the journal "Neurology" tells about a new noninvasive method to test if a patient has Alzheimer's or some other kind of dementia.The old tests often resulted in delayed treatment. The method, which was accurate but unpleasant for patients, included combining the results of three tests (MRI, FDG-PET and a lumbar puncture test). Using software, researchers can diagnose Alzheimer's in 10 to 20 months....more

Traveling with an Elderly or Disabled Loved One

As many schools across the country get ready for “summer break”, vacation plans begin to enter their final stages. While vacations are a period of fun and relaxation, they can be a source of stress and frustration for millions of adults. Those who have not prepared to navigate the challenges that accompany traveling with an elderly or disabled loved one may find the excursion to be a disaster. In order to give yourself the best chance at having a truly enjoyable vacation with your loved ones we recommend following these tips:...more

20 Tips for New Caregivers

Caregiving is a stressful and demanding job and to complicate matters, most new caregiving situations have a very quick onset giving the caregiver very little time to prepare for their new role.  As a result, many caregivers may not fully prioritize their own health. Caregiver health may in fact be the most important priority of all, but it is easily overlooked when one is constantly caring for another while also trying to balance the challenges of a busy life....more

A Daughter, Not a Caregiver

When our family was told that my mother could no longer stay in her home without assistance we spent months talking about what to do. It was very important to mom that she stay in the home she had shared with my father and it was important to us – her adult children. All of us decided I would move to San Diego and live with mom. The relationship I had with my mom was loving and filled with laughter so how tough could it be?...more

Taking Away Mom's Keys: How Old Is Too Old to Drive?

For the interrogation, a lady with a clipboard asked politely if I would "step away" from the window so she could interrogate my mother about what happened when she drove her car into the wall of the carpet store. When she mistook the gas for the brake pedal. I sat on a bench -- just within earshot of my mother referring repeatedly to the brake as the "clutch." What she learned to drive on what, a good, 75 years ago? I wanted to pinch her. I could swear, above all the raucous of sorry waiting souls in this enormous DMV room, I could actually hear the mad scribbling of Clipboard Lady. "So you weren't driving a standard then." "What standard? I was driving my car." ...more
I had to take away my mother's keys when I discovered she had had her next door neighbor jump ...more