Lorenzo Mejia

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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The Caring Corner, presented by Acorn: I Spend a Lot of Time Caring for Mom. Can I Get paid?

If you struggle with the high costs of providing home care to a loved one, you may have thought once—or twice—of getting paid to do it yourself.  So far, you probably have been caring for mom out of love and duty.  But it has its toll.  You’ve been taking time off from work and sacrificing personal time.  Friends may have told you that you need to take care of yourself.  You might be wondering if you can get paid for what you do. The short answer is yes, but it always depends on the details and where the funds ...

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The Caring Corner, presented by Acorn: A Cure for Alzheimer’s?

Common knowledge is that there is no cure for Alzheimer’s. The only thing that produces any results are improved lifestyle choices, like diet and exercise.  Now, a leading researcher has take a big step in formalizing our understanding of this phenomenon. Dale Bredesen, MD, is an internationally recognized expert in aging and neurodegenerative diseases.  He is Professor of Neurology at the University of California, Los Angeles, and founding President and CEO of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging.  Dr. Bredesen recently published The End of Alzheimer’s: The First Program to Prevent and Reverse Cognitive Decline. Dr. Bredesen suggests...

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The Caring Corner, presented by Acorn: Being a Friend to Someone with Dementia

Those with dementia can become isolated if friends and family withdraw from their lives.  Some people feel discomfort in not knowing how to be with their loved one in his/her new (and constantly changing) circumstance.  Maintaining a long-term friendship is one of the best ways to help your friend.  Your friendship will change, but it need not end! First, a few tips on communicating: You may need to speak more slowly, and use short, simple sentences. Avoid correcting them if they make errors or get confused.  Don’t argue. Avoid “Do you remember … ?” questions.  (They’ll become embarrassed when...

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The Caring Corner, presented by Acorn: End of Life Concerns

Thinking About the “Final Chapter”?  These Books May Help “Don’t send me flowers when I’m dead.  If you like me, send them while I’m alive.”   – Brian Clough With the immense popularity of Atul Gawande’s 2014 book Being Mortal, there’s been a surge of interest in learning about end-of-life concerns – and making informed decisions  – well before we face our final chapter.  Discussing and planning for our ultimate end is no longer a taboo subject.  From “The Conversation Project” to the “Death Café” movement to hosting “Good To Go” parties, folks are discussing death … especially death with...

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The Caring Corner, presented by Acorn: How to Avoid Caregiver Fatigue

Caring for your loved one can be a tender, rewarding experience.  At times, it can also become overwhelming.  It’s easy to forget about your own needs, putting you at serious risk of burnout.  Caregiver Fatigue, also known as Caregiver Burnout, is a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion.   Caregivers who are “burned out” may experience stress, fatigue, mood swings, anxiety, and/or depression.  You may get sick easily, or you may have trouble sleeping. If you’re a caregiver, here are a few suggestions to avoid Caregiver Fatigue: Accept that your feelings are natural and normal. Your life has changed...

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The Caring Corner, presented by Acorn: Documents to Consider When You Are Incapacitated

Planning to Get Older – Documents to Consider When You Are Incapacitated To paraphrase the well-known adage, few things in life are certain aside from the fact that we are getting older.  From the moment we are born, we are dying.   Thinking about life’s end should not be seen as a morbid topic, but simply dealing with a fact of life. There are a number of legal documents that you can use to empower others when you are incapacitated.  Four of the most common are highlighted below, along with their pluses and minuses.  This is an overview.  No formal...

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The Caring Corner, presented by Acorn: Arrest Rates for Elder Americans Are On the Rise

In the 1986 comedy, Tough Guys, ex-cons Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas, well into their 60’s after serving years in prison for train robbery, decide to rob one again.  For most older Americans, however, whose paths are crossing with law enforcement, it’s far from deliberate. In the decade ending in 2012 (the last year for which statistics are available), arrest rates fell by 11 percent among people 18 to 64.  But it rose 23 percent for people over 55, and a shocking 28 percent among those over 65. Consider the following: In Bakersfield, Calif., a man in his seventies...

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The Caring Corner, presented by Acorn: Top Scams Affecting Senior Citizens

One of the hottest growth industries is also illegal and deeply immoral:  scams targeting seniors.   People who engage in these activities typically do so from overseas where they face no penalty, nor risk of imprisonment.  Here are three of the most common scams targeting elders.   The Grandparent Scam You get a call from somebody claiming to be your grandchild.  They start by saying, “Grandpa, is that you?”  And you might say, “Is that you, Michael?”   At that point, the relationship is established.  “Michael” will say that he is in a predicament, typically out-of-state, and that he needs you...

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The Caring Corner, presented by Acorn: Why Does Dad ask me the same question again and again?

It can be one of the most frustrating aspects of having a loved one with dementia.  Dad will ask the same question repeatedly.  “What time are you picking me up?” You answer him, and three minutes later he asks it again.  “What time are you picking me up?”   You lose your temper. You say something that later you regret.  Yet, he has vivid recollections of the house you grew up in and many other things from long ago. This is due to the fact that many dementias attack short-term memory first.  Short-term memory operates like a “Post-it Note” for information...

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