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Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Getting to know Dr. Susan Mitchell

September 16, 2019

Dr. Susan Mitchell is a Senior Scientist at Hebrew SeniorLife’s Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research and a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. She leads the Marcus Institute’s Palliative Care Research Program and is Co-Director of the Interventional Studies in Aging Center.

10 Early Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s

July 8, 2019

It’s not uncommon to experience some memory loss as you get older. Although your parent or loved one may complain of memory problems, that does not mean they have dementia or even Alzheimer’s. Common memory issues include difficulty remembering names and details of events. If this does not interfere with any daily functioning, then it can be considered normal and likely related to natural aging. However, significant memory loss is not a part of normal aging.

Here is a warning sign checklist from the Alzheimer’s Association which outlines the signs to look for and when to talk to a doctor. 

A morning in the life of a caregiver and his wife

June 21, 2019

Caring for a loved one with even mild dementia can be challenging. Advice and support from a professional source can help ease the burden. The following story is a typical day in the life of couples when someone in the partnership is experiencing memory loss and confusion. It offers some tips about how to handle difficult situations. 

Myron starts his day around 7am. He gets up and goes through his morning routine, which includes washing up, getting dressed, and starting the coffee. At around 8am, he goes in to wake up his wife, Talia. She would sleep longer if Myron did not wake her up.

Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia

November 15, 2018

Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia
Are you worried about Alzheimer’s disease? Its effects on you or your loved ones? And what about dementia? That’s a pretty scary term, too.
 

What is the MIND Diet and how can it help your brain?

October 17, 2018

The MIND Diet

Since researchers have not yet determined what causes Alzheimer’s disease, you may be wondering if there is anything we can do to prevent it?

The answer is YES. RUSH University nutritional epidemiologist Martha Clare Morris, ScD, and colleagues’ research has shown a link between nutrition and the role it may play to prevent or delay the onset of dementia decline. One of the studies showed the benefits of the MIND diet (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) on cognition – it included 960 participants with an average age of 81. The research analyzed food frequency and cognition scores over 10 years. Those on the MIND diet scored being 7.5 years younger cognitively!

Appropriate Use of Antipsychotics in Treatment of Patients with Dementia

September 25, 2018

Appropriate Use of Antipsychotics in Treatment of Patients with Dementia

There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that antipsychotic medication is overprescribed for patients with dementia. Antipsychotic medications were created years ago to treat serious mental health conditions such as schizophrenia. Over time, these drugs came into use to treat dementia patients with symptoms that put them and others at risk, including physically aggressive behavior and wandering.

However, research shows these drugs are not effective for most dementia behaviors, and can cause unnecessary and sometimes dangerous side effects. Experts agree that all dementia patients on antipsychotics should have their medical plans reviewed, since some patients may benefit from either reducing or stopping the medication.

"Music and Memory" Services Comfort Patients with Dementia

New research is confirming and expanding an idea long held by those who work with Alzheimer’s and dementia patients: music has a way of invoking memory.

March 27, 2018

How many times have you heard a song and gotten a strange sense of déjà vu? With even just a few notes played, you are reminded of people, places, and events you may not have thought about for years. New research is confirming and expanding an idea long held by those who work with Alzheimer’s and dementia patients: music has a way of invoking memory.   

An Alzheimer’s Diagnosis and the Importance of Family Support

A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia affects the entire family

January 31, 2018

Getting the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease today is much like what getting a cancer diagnosis used to be for some people: devastating, often debilitating, and leaving one not knowing who to tell or where to turn. Years ago when I was a nurse, some patients didn’t want their families to know they had cancer. While cancer patients have gotten braver about their need for support and advocating for treatments and cures, many individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease still fear the stigma…and the confusion over what to do next.

Living with Dementia: Anne’s Indelible Spirit

November 30, 2017

Anne is a memory care patient in long-term chronic care at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center Roslindale. To learn more about our memory care offerings, please click here.

Families personally affected by Alzheimer’s disease or dementia are robbed of many things others take for granted, but though speech and other faculties may decline, a person’s light and spirit are indelible. Now living with advanced dementia, Anne radiates kindness and warmth and is a valued member of our community. See her story. 

A Person-Centered Approach to Alzheimer’s Disease Treatment: A Conversation with Geriatric Psychiatrist Dr. Gary Epstein-Lubow

We spoke with Dr. Epstein-Lubow about professional development, his vision for memory care treatment at HSL, and why person-centered care is the right approach to treat Alzheimer’s disease

September 19, 2017

Dr. Epstein-Lubow at Hebrew SeniorLife.

Tell us about your vision for the Center for Memory Health. Who will it serve and how?

The center will serve people with all types of memory concerns, and also family members and friends of those with memory issues. We’ll start with a comprehensive assessment for a person with a memory complaint. That assessment will provide answers about whether the complaint is due to a memory condition like Alzheimer’s, or something else such as depression. Once the assessment program is in place, treatments will focus on family support and care management, including a focus on person-centered goals to adjust to memory concerns and improve quality of life.

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