Honoring Seniors With Dementia January , 2013

January is National Alzheimer’s AwarenessMonth.

Just Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s?
DepressedSeniorMan
You may have suspected that your brain was not working properly.  Now you have confirmed that there is a medical reason why your brain has not been functioning properly and all other possible medical conditions have been eliminated.
In some ways, it may be a relief that you now know you are not crazy.  On the other hand, you may feel angry that this has happened or even be in denial about your condition.  There will be good days and then there will be bad days.
Here are some things that you can do to be proactive for yourself or loved one:
  1. Google ‘alzheimer’s support group’ and find the support groups available in your location so that you can talk with others who are going through this experience.
  2. Call the Alzheimer’s Association in your area by visiting website.  Sign up for their peer to peer phone calls and learn as much as your can about the disease.
  3. Take a family member with you on your doctor visits so that you are sure you have reported everything and that you heard and retained everything the doctor said.
  4. Develop a foolproof method for taking your medications.
  5. Have your doctor try dementia medications to forestall the disease.
  6. Get your legal affairs in order.  Visit an elder estate attorney.
  7. Talk about your finances and how you will pay for your care.  There may be a time when your spouse or family cannot take care of you.  Alzheimer’s can become a 24/7 care proposition so begin visiting facilities to determine which one you would prefer if you can no longer be at home.  Also, remember to plan for how your spouse will maintain their lifestyle.
  8. Read a book or the paper and do crossword puzzles to maintain your brain.
  9. Walk or do light exercise to keep oxygen circulating in the brain.
  10. Have yourself tested for sleep apnea.

Reasons Why Your Brain May Not Be Functioning Properly

There may be times when you feel mental confusion or fuzziness.  Many factors affect the brain’s function.  Since the brain utilizes up to 25% of the oxygen in the body, it must be pumped from the heart.  If you don’t exercise regularly and spend a lot of time sitting in a chair, you will experience mental dullness.  If you have sleep apnea or snore a lot, you are depriving your brain of oxygen.  You may want to be tested to make sure this is not your problem.

Other reasons why you may experience lack of mental clarity may include

  • Lack of sleep or oversleeping.
  • Poor diet can contribute by not nourishing your brain cells with the energy they need to function.
  • Medications and/or over the counter drugs can contribute to mental fuzziness as can allergies.
  • Depression causes lack of mental clarity.
  • Urinary tract infections can make it appear as if you ha
  • B vitamin deficiency will affect mental functions.
  • Those who had normal levels of vitamins C, E and B scored higher on tests.
  • Sugar level sensitivity.  If you have hypoglycemia, sugar levels may drop suddenly and your ability to remember or calculate will be affected.
  • Drinking alcohol can have the same effect temporarily.
  • Lack of mental stimulation and social interactions will contribute to a dull mind.  Do something to have fun and invite others to join you.

 

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