TED Talk on Mapping the Brain — Be Sure to Watch

Adult children with a parent experiencing memory issues may want to listen to this July 2011 TED Talk, A Map of the Brain, by Allan Jones, the head of the Allen Institute for Brain Research.  The lecture explores the brain’s structure, they way different parts function, and current research, and it and includes some amazing images.

I wrote more about the Institute in my March 2012 post, Paul Allen Donates Another $300 Mil to Brain Research.  Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft and not a noted philanthropist, was the primary founder and funder of the Allen Institute, and he continues to support its work. Allen’s mother had Alzheimer’s.

The Mission of the Allen Institute for Brain Research

Our mission is to accelerate the understanding of how the human brain works in health and disease. Using a big science approach, we generate useful public resources, drive technological and analytical advances, and discover fundamental brain properties through integration of experiments modeling and theory.

Core Values of Green Houses

20130125-101414.jpgCheck out the post Exploring Green House Core Values: Real Home over at the Changing Aging blog.

Rachel Scher of The Green House Project describes how Green House movement founder, Dr. Bill Thomas, envisions homes where residents create a community together — supported by staff members (shabazz) who are trained not only to provide care but also to provide and encourage the home-creating process.

In her post Scher makes the distinction between creating “home-like homes”versus making real homes.At the end of the post watch a great video that celebrates ten years of the Green House Movement.

In this picture Dr. Bill Thomas speaks at the dedication of the new Woodland Park Green House Homes at Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community early in January 2013.

When the Caregiving Is For a Spouse

CWH_cover_final(1)Check out the Washington Post article, Caregiving is Especially Complicated When the Patient is Your Spouse, an article originally published in the January 14, 2013 online edition.

Written for the Consumer’s Union but appearing in the Post, the piece describes a book, The Caregiving Wife’s Handbook, by Diana Denholm, a licensed professional therapist who provided extensive care to her husband. Below are the topics that appeared in the article, but the book is far more comprehensive. The reviews on the Amazon website characterize the book as useful for any person who is providing care to a family member.

Topics in the Article 

  • How does caring for a spouse differ for caring for a parent?
  • What’s the most important advice you offer to caregivers?
  • What are other pitfalls to know about?
  • When should a caregiver seek outside assistance?

Increasing Numbers of Seniors in Social Networking World

Pew Internet Aging Social networking

Those of us with seniors and elders in our lives should continually be aware that a growing number of people over 65 are enthusiastically latching on to social networking sites and using them on a fairly regular basis.

This amazing graph depicts the percentage of adults at various ages who use social media sites, and  it demonstrates how fast the use of these sites is increasing for all age groups.

Published in the Pew Internet’s  July 2012 report on Older Adults and Internet Use, the information in the image comes from a Pew survey that collected data between March 2005 and February 2012.

Note the growth for the 50-64 age group and the over 65 age group (data that could hardly be tracked back in 2005) over the years of the survey. Moreover, the social networking adoption percentage numbers for people 50 and older picked up a lot of steam, between July and November 2008.

Bottom line? Many more older adults are signing up and using social media sites, and their numbers are continuing to increase. What’s important, however, is the need to be on the lookout for seniors and elders who can use support with privacy settings and other aspects of lives lived more openly in the digital world.

Alzheimer’s and Dementia Resource-National Institute on Aging

Click to download the  book as a PDF or order a print copy.

Click to download the book as a PDF or order a print copy.

Check Out this Easy-to-Use Guide

from the National Institute on Aging (NIA)

If one of your family members or a friend receives a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, this book, Caring for a Person with Alzheimer’s Disease, offers an enormous amount of information and support. It’s organized well, overs a range of resources, and even uses an easy-to-read typeface.

From the NIA Website

This comprehensive, 104-page handbook offers easy-to-understand information and advice for at-home caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s disease. It addresses all aspects of care, from bathing and eating to visiting the doctor and getting respite care. And it’s filled with resources.

Examples of the Information Provided in Caring for a Person With Alzheimer’s

  • Learn more about caring for a family member with Alzheimer’s with advice on everything from memory issues to holidays to travel to coping strategies
  • Get more specifics about the medical facts.
  • Learn how to seek and find additional help for you and your family member.
  • Find out how to help a caregiver remain healthy and strong.
  • Explore a range of safety tips.
  • Get information about the progression of the disease and the last states of Alzheimer’s disease.

Rosalyn Carter Talks About Family Caregiving

Rosalyn Carter Caring

Michael Lindenmayer interviews former First Lady Rosalyn Carter in a January 17, 2013 piece at Forbes. Mrs. Carter speaks about family caregivers in the United States, noting the important role this group plays in the United States health care system. Family caregivers, she points out, provide much of the daily life support to family members with significant chronic illnesses as well as aging parents.

The Rosalyn Carter Institute for Caregiving, founded by Mrs. Carter, “… is the only national institute to integrate both professional and family caregiver issues in research, education and advocacy agenda.” It’s mission is to educate the public about the critical role that caregivers, and especially family member caregivers play in our nation’s long term health care system, identify the risks associated with serving in that role, and create ways to help and support people who are working as caregivers.

Best Quote:

Family caregivers represent one of this nation’s most significant yet underappreciated assets in our health delivery system. They are the backbone of our country’s long term, home-based, and community-based care system. The approximately 65 million family caregivers in the United States provide $450 billion worth of unpaid services each year.