Tagged with memory

Is Forgetting Really Forgetting?

Last summer I went off to part one of my scheduled yearly Medicare Wellness Visit the same morning I had an unscheduled visit to the dentist for an unexpected root canal. At the Primary Care Practice where I go, my physician divides the visit into two parts. The first part was with a physician’s assistant … Continue reading

An Image as a Metaphor for Dementia

Watching a much-loved family member’s gradual memory decline brings with it great sadness. We observe vast amounts of knowledge and personal connection — the inner light of an individual — disconnecting and disappearing. Recently I spent a morning looking at an amazing quilt exhibit at Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community (VMRC). The quilter, Anne Miller, created exquisite patterns, and images, and I … Continue reading

Just Where Is That Fountain of Youth?

Have you noticed how large pharmacies devote more and more aisle space to diet supplements, pills to fix this problem or that, anti-aging products, and vitamins that “can fix” almost anything? I’m also confronted by colorful catalogs and continuous ads, all encouraging me to try one product or another. Jane Brody has just written an excellent article … Continue reading

Alive Inside: This Movie Is Extraordinary!

You know a movie speaks to the audience when people just sit there as the credits start to roll rather than getting up and moving out. That’s what happened this evening when my husband and I went to see Alive Inside, the Sundance award-winning documentary about the role that music plays in the lives of elderly people who … Continue reading

Alive Inside: Music Brings Back Memories and Dignity

Note: If after reading this post you are interested in seeing the movie, please check out my Alive Inside movie review. I discovered Alive Inside, the Sundance award-winning documentary film that demonstrates the power that music can exercise over memory loss, a few months ago when my husband and I shared an amazing experience attending the Second … Continue reading

Senior Moment or Alzheimer’s?

As the adult children of aging parents most of us are used to hearing friends and colleagues make the “senior moment” comment. Often when a person over 45 or so has difficulty remembering something, he or she will comment, “…oops, I’m having a senior moment.” I began noticing this in my late 40′s and now, … Continue reading

Multitasking and the Aging Brain

Over the past 20 years multitasking has become a common 20th and 21st Century conversation for people of all ages. Technology, especially the many things we seem to do all at once with the help of our gadgets, makes us think that we are all pretty good multi-taskers. Unfortunately, research is showing we aren’t doing … Continue reading

Aging and Decision-Making

No matter how old we are, making decisions and choices can be more difficult when we are presented with lots of options. As we age, we may take more time to make decisions compared to our children or grandchildren, and the situation can become a source of frustration for family members. Read Why It Takes So … Continue reading

Dementia: The Problem of Wandering

The May 4, 2010 New York Times features a health article, More With Dementia Wander from Home, focusing on the problems families experience when a family member with dementia wanders and gets lost. The piece explains how a rising number of confused dementia patients are walking away from home, requiring the development of new policing and … Continue reading

Aging Parents, Atrial Fibrillation, and Dementia

New research, published last week in the April 2010 edition of the journal Heart Rhythm, reports an association between atrial fibrillation and all types of dementia. The article, Atrial Fibrillation Is Independently Associated with Senile, Vascular, and Alzheimer’s Dementia (abstract and full text available), describes the study, which included 37,025 patients already a part of … Continue reading

Baby Boomer Brains: Aging Parent Focus Making Us Worry

Today’s NPR Morning Edition, April 20, 2010, features a story about middle age brain ability and development. Barbara Stauch, author of  The Secret Life of the Grown Up Brain (Politics and Prose in Washington, DC, Amazon, Powell’s, Barnes and Noble), discusses what she has learned about the brains of 40-65 year-olds — the age-range of my brain. Stauch … Continue reading

Dementia Patients and Inner City Teens: Friendship

People experiencing dementia, even those with loving family members nearby, are often bored, frightened, and agitated. Rarely do they get enough socialization. An April 14, 2010, Chicago Tribune article by Ted Gregory, Elderly Dementia Patients and “At-risk” Students Create Friendships, describes a successful activity in Chicago that builds relationships between teens and elderly people living with … Continue reading

Dementia – Emotions May Continue? PNAS Research

So interesting to read the about the research, Sustained Experience of Emotion After Loss of Memory in Patients with Amnesia (abstract), published in the April 12, 2010 early edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The University of Iowa researcher, Justin Feinstein, found that patients, while they could not retrieve memories, were … Continue reading

Aging Parents: Touch Screen Technology Innovations

Aging parent supporters and caregivers know how gratifying it is to sit with an elderly parent looking through old photograph albums. While we all love to do this, uncomfortable moments can arise when parents with dementia experience anxiety when they cannot remember an event. Now comes interesting dementia research reported in the March 25, 2010 … Continue reading