Lorenzo Mejia

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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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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