'A Place for Mom' had an article reviewing information on Alzheimer's testing. This disease is similar to other mental diseases and in the past, it was only through posthumous examination. Now when seeing the signs of Alzheimer's, there may be some testing available to help diagnose.
Standard testing is: 1) physical and neurological - check blood & urine; see how the patient walks; check vision, hearing, reflexes, and balance. 2) cognitive - solving simple problems & also looking at short and long term memory testing. 3) neuropsychological - time intensive testing of memory and thinking done by a psychiatrist or psychologist.
There are new tests, identifying biomarkers, that maybe coming out which could help detect the disease early on. So scientists are working on: 1) brain imaging to look for changes - MRI, CT, PET; 2) cerebralspinal fluid protein levels - this is still being researched but it would only require a spinal tap; 3) check for proteins in the blood - looking for biomarkers in blood, urine, & the eye lens; 4) genetic markers - even though many markers have been identified, this is still mostly for research yet.
As much as everyone wants to run out and get mom/dad tested, many of these tests are NOT covered by insurance and are costly. The article mentions that genetic testing has its own risks and then the findings may affect insurance eligibility.
My mom went to a local Memory & Aging Clinic at a hospital that deals with many mental diseases. She went through a battery of mental testing while I filled out a large questionnaire. The findings at the time were good - she was 80 and her 'forgetfulness' was normal. But she did return a few times for check-ups. In my opinion, it is great to sit down with a doctor who is specialized with this type of mental disease, best to know 'yes' or 'no' rather than be guessing. Feel free to check previous post - "Delirium or Something Else".
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The post for the Mixer is now here .
4 Signs of Caregiving Stress Overload
ElderCarelink email posts 4 signs that should not be overlooked by you, the caregiver, or a close family member or friend. They report that even though the immediate caregiver may not be helping in direct care, the mind is never far from the needs of the older person, thinking about meals, falling, medications. Take the opinion of a family member or friend if they are telling you that you are stressed. Four signs: you skip your own physicals; you isolate yourself from others; you eat and/or drink too much for good health; you are short tempered with the elder, your spouse or your children. If any or all of these sound familiar, take a break no matter how short in order to recharge. For more information on caregiver stress see ElderCarelink
You can check out my ranting and stream of consciousness writing about looking at adult service providers with Will.
A Caregiver's Poem
I was looking through a 'Caregiver's Blog: Senior Care Support' and came across a poem that was shared by a writer, Dana, from the blog. The poem was written by Becky Netherland and Dana's grandmother shared it with her. I thought it was great and there is not much to say about it - just read!!! Enjoy!!
(picture from Caregivers Blog)
I’ve traveled paths you’ve yet to walk
Learned lessons old and new
And now this wisdom of my life
I’m blessed to share with you
Let kindness spread like sunshine
Embrace those who are sad
Respect their dignity, give them joy
And leave them feeling glad
Forgive those who might hurt you
And though you have your pride
Listen closely to their viewpoint
Try to see the other side
Walk softly when you’re angry
Try not to take offense
Invoke your sense of humor
Laughter’s power is immense!
Express what you are feeling
Your beliefs you should uphold
Don’t shy away from what is right
Be courageous and be bold
Keep hope right in your pocket
It will guide you day by day
Take it out when it is needed
When it’s near, you’ll find a way
Remember friends and family
Of which you are a precious part
Love deeply and love truly
Give freely from your heart
The world is far from perfect
There’s conflict and there’s strife
But you still can make a difference
By how you live your life
And so I’m very blessed to know
The wonders you will do
Because you are my granddaughter
And I believe in you.
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