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Dementia: a positive filter

williamutermohlenWhile the search for a cure for dementia continues, there is little we can do for our loved ones, other than make sure they take their prescribed medications on time, and mourn the loss of the minds they once had.

Without a doubt it is sad to witness the deterioration of a mother or father who used to run their home like a tight ship. Immaculate, perhaps, with everything neatly in its place, and according to a decades-old system. A man who used to manage people, a woman who managed whole schools: dementia has been indiscriminate in the past, with who it might attack.  Certainly it is upsetting to view the changes in a much loved person as a deterioration, but when the changes are inevitable, and there remains no cure, we might be better off celebrating some of the changes that occur through a more positive filter. Continue reading →

Reversal of memory loss in mice in studies with mefenamic acid

mouseA treatment for Alzheimer’s disease – the most common form of dementia among older people – that reverses memory loss is the ultimate goal for both researchers and people who are living with the disease. While many of us are beginning to live much longer lives, the extra years we gain are of little use, if our ability to enjoy them as fully independent seniors, is inhibited by memory loss.

The latest research, published this week in Nature Communications, by scientists from the UK’s University of Manchester, reveals an exciting secondary effect of Mefenamic Acid, an NSAID which has long been used to treat period pain by inhibiting the production of prostaglandins. Continue reading →

Compassion fatigue: what is it, and how to survive

fatigueCompassion fatigue: the eventual by-product of caring for someone. Everyone gets it – if they’re doing their job well. Nurses get it. Doctors get it. Even some new parents get it at that most intense of times when they are suddenly responsible for a new and entirely vulnerable little life. It’s nature’s way of making sure you survive what can be an emotionally, physically, and intellectually exhausting job. Nature is telling you to take a break, because if you don’t, you’ll lose your own fitness, and ultimately, neither you nor your charge will survive.

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Palliative care and how complementary therapies can be safely used

With a possible sense of powerlessness about the approaching end to a loved one’s life, many caregivers wish to consider complementary therapies alongside palliative care methods, to guarantee tacupuncturehe comfort of their loved one.

Clinically, end-of-life care focusses on pain and symptom management, and ensuring the comfort and dignity of the patient. However, at such a difficult time as this, good planning and effective working relationships between family and health professionals, will contribute to a positive experience for both the person and the family that will be left behind.

If care-giving family members wish to seek other strategies for managing pain and symptoms, it’s important that clinicians are aware of their implementation – particularly if complementary herbal remedies and supplements are being used alongside biomedical treatments: the chance that adverse reactions or interactions may occur must be ruled out.

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Making time for your elderly parents

 As much as we would all like to see our elderly parents regularly – particularly as they get older and more dependent, and more in need of care cupoftea– sometimes it just isn’t that easy. Life can be hectic: full-time jobs, children, grand-children, maintaining a busy household of your own, and staying socially connected in your own right, are… Continue reading →

What is dementia really like?

WHOAccording to the World Health Organization, dementia is an umbrella term, or a syndrome, commonly used to refer to a range of conditions which result in a deterioration in memory, thinking, behaviour, and the ability to function normally. The most common type of dementia is Alzheimer’s. Vascular dementia, Lewy Body dementia, and Parkinson’s are among the other forms of… Continue reading →

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