Lorenzo Mejia

The Caring Corner, presented by Acorn: What Steve Jobs Did for your Grandparents: How Personalized Music Therapy Changes Dementia Care

It’s happened to all of us.  We hear a song from the past and we are instantly transported to a special time and place, rich in memories, perhaps of moments shared with a loved one or a happy time in our lives.  Perhaps it‘s the song we played again and again when we were in college.  Perhaps it’s the special song we enjoyed with our loved one Much has been written about music therapy for people with dementia.  The award-winning documentary, Alive Inside, showed how music can be a delightful therapy with no negative side effects.  The therapy documented...

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The Caring Corner, presented by Acorn: Understanding Hospice

Many think that hospice means we are giving up, and accepting death. A different way to look at it is that we want to focus on comfort, to have a better quality of life for as long as possible.  Hospice is typically paid for Medicare or Medicaid. So while it’s a personal decision, it’s important to know what it is and how it can help as you care for yourself or a loved one. In order to qualify for hospice, you must have a condition with little promise of improvement and a life expectancy of six months or less....

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The Caring Corner, presented by Acorn: Understanding Lewy Body Disease

One of the most aggressive types of dementia in terms of symptoms and challenges for the caregiver is Lewy Body Dementia, or LBD.   It is named for the German researcher, Dr. Lewy, who discovered the abnormal protein deposits (“bodies”) in the brains of people suffering from this disease. There are two types of LBD, both related to Parkinsonism due to how the disease affects the movement (muscular rigidity, tremors, stiffness) of the individual.  As LBD progresses, the two forms become more and more similar. Dementia with Lewy Bodies: in this version cognitive symptoms typically appear within 12 months of...

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The Caring Corner, presented by Acorn: Keeping an Eye on Alzheimer’s

It has long been the case that no diagnosis was possible for Alzheimer’s until you had an autopsy. Then, researchers found that they could do PET scans and draw cerebrospinal fluid to check for biomarkers of the disease. Both of these tests are expensive and invasive. They have not proven practical as a way to evaluate someone’s risk for Alzheimer’s. Now, scientists have discovered that an eye exam may provide indication for the likelihood that someone will develop Alzheimer’s. This test is much less invasive and can provide information many years earlier in the progression of the disease then...

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The Caring Corner, presented by Acorn: The Link Between Poor Sleep and Dementia

When we were younger, staying up late to squeeze in all the things we wanted — or needed — to do may have seemed like a “no brainer”.  Recent research suggests that may have been the case, but for a different reason.  A study performed by Washington University School of Medicine and Stanford University found that poor sleep causes an increase in the proteins in the brain that are linked to Alzheimer’s disease.  Alzheimer’s is the leading cause of dementia, responsible for as many as 80 percent of all cases. The study showed that just one bad night of...

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The Caring Corner, presented by Acorn: Ways to Avoid Caregiver Stress

It’s a fact that when you are caring for someone else your own health and well-being may suffer.  Your focus is on their needs, not yours.   Sadly, the one who is doing the caring may even predecease the one receiving care.   Here are some ways to avoid caregiver burnout   Stay positive. It sounds trite, but it helps.  Take pleasure and pride in the small accomplishments.  Maybe you figured out the best place to purchase adult diapers, or the safest way to execute a transfer.  Give yourself a pat on the back.  Everything you are doing is helping your...

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The Caring Corner, presented by Acorn: Five Things to Do Before Engaging a Caregiver

Five Things to Do Before Engaging a Caregiver When mom needs help around the house and to get through her daily activities, picking the right caregiver is a process.  You must be part psychologist, detective and human resources expert to find somebody with the right skills and personality.  That’s the advantage of an agency, where they spend a lot time on these issues as part of their caregiver screening process. If you have the time, you can do it yourself and save money.  Here are a few pointers. 1 – Inquire about the caregiver’s credentials, certifications and educational background ...

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The Caring Corner, presented by Acorn: Seven Signs of Alzheimer’s

Everyone forgets something now and again.  It’s a fact that we do so a little more as we age.  When must we consider the dreaded “A” word… Alzheimer’s?   A formal diagnosis of Alzheimer’s can only be done by a medical expert. But here are some common warning signs that what you are experiencing warrants concern. Memory loss that affects daily activities One thing is to forget the toothpaste when you’re shopping.  The other thing is to become so forgetful that you rely on notes and memory aids to get through nearly every daily activity.  Especially when we regularly forget recently-acquired...

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The Caring Corner, presented by Acorn: Outsmarting Alzheimer’s

Every 66 seconds, someone develops Alzheimer’s disease.  Experts suggest that a third of these cases can be prevented if we cared for our brains better in our younger years.   A study in the Lancet combining the work of more than 20 researchers highlights the impact that lifestyle changes can have in reducing our risk for the disease. Diet! Diet! Diet! The science indicates that as much as one-half of dementia risk is related to poor diet. A brain-healthy eating plan should mimic the “Mediterranean Diet.” In other words, it should include generous amounts of non-farmed oily fish, fruits and...

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The Caring Corner, presented by Acorn: Can Memory Games Help Me Avoid Dementia?

Of the many uncertainties in life, the spectre of wasting away mentally due to dementia can be one of the most disquieting.  Like any part of our body, we have been told to, “Use it or lose it.”  It makes sense, but when it comes to memory games and our brains, is it true? We take it on good authority that doing crossword puzzles will help us stay sharp in later years.   The desire to stay healthy and avoid mental decline has spawned a huge industry of brain training, memory tests and the like.  Do they help us avoid...

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