APRIL IS PARKINSON'S AWARENESS MONTH.
Both my grandfather and now my uncle have this disease. My grandfather was diagnosed in the late 1980's (he died 1992, he was 89); my uncle within the past month. I don't remember any medication being given to my grandfather; my uncle just started on one and seems to be reacting well to it. He is also undergoing chemo treatments. Lovely combination!!!
According to the Parkinson's Disease Foundation, about 1 million Americans have the disease; 96% are diagnosed after the age of 50. It is the 14th leading cause of death according to the Center for Disease Control.
Parkinson's is not all about tremors - People with Parkinson’s disease may have other motor problems such as rigidity, issues with posture, and overall slowness of movement. Furthermore, Parkinson’s disease can cause mental and cognitive problems as well. (picture from A Place for Mom site) People with Parkinson’s may have difficulty with planning, problem solving, and other complex tasks. Parkinson’s disease is even a cause of memory loss and dementia.
Recently,our administration awarded money to study the brain, called the BRAIN Initiative which will hopefully develop strategies to fight Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
There is a free toolkit you can download. For a detailed treatment with medications and therapies, take a look at Parkinson's Disease in the Elderly from the archives at the site of 'A Place for Mom'.
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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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