Science Reveals 8 Habits That Reduce Dementia Risk

Loving-Home-Care-Services-Science-Reveals-8-Habits-That-Reduce-Dementia-Risk

What if you could lower your dementia risk as you age? Would you do whatever it takes to prevent a significant cognitive decline later in life? Dementia is a horrible condition that robs people of their past, present, and future.

More than 50 million people across the globe have a degenerative mental disease known as dementia. Sadly, there is no cure for a condition that strips your memories and the very ability to recall the faces of your loved ones. Prevention is the only key to keeping this common illness at bay.

Experts state that in the next 30 years, they expect the number of people in the world with this mind-altering disease to more than triple. With staggering numbers looming in the distance, it’s essential to do whatever is possible to protect your brain now. There is a great deal of scientific and clinical evidence that can help people change their lifestyles and habits to improve their brain health.

Understanding Dementia

Most individuals don’t understand dementia wholly, and it’s often even more confusing when you add the term Alzheimer’s to the mix. Think of dementia as an umbrella term used by the medical community to describe a loss of cognitive function. When a person has such an issue, they can’t remember, think, reason, and they suffer from behavioral problems.

What Are The Symptoms of Dementia?

  • Trouble with Short-Term and Long-Term Memories
  • Visual Perception Alterations
  • Loss of Problem-Solving Skills
  • Inability to Focus
  • Loss of Bladder and Bowel Function
  • Inability to Speak or Lose Words
  • Unable To Manage Self-Care

Different Types of Dementia

  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Vascular
  • Frontotemporal
  • Lewy Body

The chances of developing dementia increase as a person ages. However, it should not be considered a normal part of the aging process. It can happen in people below 40 years of age, which would be classified as an early onset.

Additionally, it can be seen after a trauma or injury that affected the brain area.

8 Ways To Lower The Dementia Risk

1 – Mediation 

People love meditation as it helps to calm their stress levels. However, when your stress levels are improved, then the body doesn’t make the overproduction of cortisol. An increased cortisol level in the body can cause all sorts of problems, especially for the brain.

Research confirms that the brain’s gray matter becomes thicker when you meditate. This thickening essentially slows the aging process. What are cortical thickness and gray matter? It’s the regions of your mind that are responsible for both your memory and decision making. It seems that deep relaxation can help you lower your dementia risk.

2 – Avoid Tobacco Products

Tobacco use can cause a plethora of conditions within your body. Chronic use can lead to lung cancer, glaucoma, high blood pressure, and poor brain health. Additionally, the carcinogens in tobacco products can cause a cognitive decline.

Your brain health can be affected by your poisonous habits. Is the calming feeling that you get from nicotine worth all the risks?

3 – Exercise 

Exercise is essential to an overall healthy body. Not only does it reduce or improve your risk of developing cardiovascular problems, but it can also reduce the dementia risk. New evidence shows that when you work out, you affect your brain’s cells and help them stay healthy.

Those who engage in higher levels of activity, like cardio workouts, seem to fare better. You need at least 2.5 hours of exercise each week to stay in shape and protect your mental health.

4 – Maintaining A Healthy Weight 

Maintaining a healthy weight is more difficult for some than others. However, the direct correlation with increased weight and the dementia risk is undeniable. If your BMI is above 25, then your risk increases. Strive to keep your weight below this threshold for optimal brain health.

5 – Prevent Hypertension 

If your blood pressure is consistently reading above 140/90, then it’s a cause for alarm. The American Heart Association states that anyone who has chronic high blood pressure increases their dementia risk.

The heart must work harder to get the blood to all the areas of the body. Since the blood carries oxygen, the brain is affected when oxygen saturation levels are not correct. Do whatever you can to prevent hypertension.

6 – Use the Mediterranean Diet

The World Health Organization recommends the Mediterranean diet explicitly for an overly healthy body. One of the reasons why this diet is so superior is that it incorporates things that are good for brain health. While on this eating plan, you can expect to eat things like:

• Whole Grains

• Legumes

• Fruits

• Vegetables

• Fish

• Olive Oil and Other Healthy Fats

• Nuts and Seeds

One thing that this diet does is helps to reduce the build-up of dangerous plaque in the brain. Plaque in the mind tangles around nerves and transmitters and can cause things like Alzheimer’s disease. While numerous new supplements are popping up on the market that state they can lower the dementia risk, a healthy diet is the most important thing you can do to protect your mind.

The supplements contain things like omega-3, B Vitamins, and antioxidants, all of which can be derived from food. There is no silver bullet in keeping this disease at bay other than hard work and persistence with diet and physical activity.

7 – Engage In Brain Games

Though the research area on brain training games is in its infancy, experts believe that utilizing such activities can reduce the dementia risk. Playing games won’t keep a person’s brain from normal aging, but it can help them stay alert and healthy for a more extended period.

Games stimulate the mind, and it can play an incredibly significant part of aging well in the golden years. Thankfully, brain games are fun and don’t feel like doing a workout.

8 – Stay Social 

Could something as small as staying socially engaged help lower your risk of dementia? A study was conducted between the years of 1985-2013 that tested 10,200 people and their relationships. The goal was to see if there was any correlation between those that were socially active and the risk of developing dementia.

The findings showed that people who stay social well into their 60s had a lower chance of developing cognition problems. The risk was about 12 percent lower than in those that didn’t socialize as much. British Researchers feel this is another area that must be further explored when it comes to lowering the risk of developing dementia.

Early Warning Signs You Shouldn’t Ignore

When it comes to dementia, you want to be on the lookout for early warning signs. You can do things to help slow the progression of the disease, and these early indicators will help you in the short term. The signs are:

• Constantly Misplacing Things

• Difficulty with Finishing Tasks You’ve Started

• The Inability to Retrace Steps

• Difficulty Remembering Words or Writing

• Confusion on Visual Images

• Problems Speaking and Troubling Articulating Your Thoughts

• Socially Withdrawing

• Confusions Regarding Your Time or Place

• Spatial Relationship Problems

• Poor Judgment and Decision Making

Ordinary things that you once knew and loved can become strange and foreign. For instance, if you’ve played the piano all your life, you may suddenly sit down to the keys and be unable to recall how to play. It would help if you also kept in mind that depression and severe anxiety can mimic dementia, but the effects of those mental health conditions aren’t typically long-lasting.

Final Thoughts On Unlocking The Key To A Lowered Dementia Risk

Some often call Alzheimer’s disease the long goodbye. Many people can suffer for years with this condition as it deteriorates and takes every ounce of memory from them. Eventually, their brain stops telling the body to function, and they pass.

It can be quite a long journey from the diagnosis to when the person dies. The family must endure many hardships as they watch someone who they love decline. Also, the person trapped in that body that isn’t functioning well. He or she struggles every day.

If there is anything that you can do to prevent going through such a horrible occurrence in life, then you should do it. If it means eating healthy and avoiding carbs and fast food, then you have got to try.

You don’t want to be in a nursing home and not recognize your loved ones’ faces. You owe it to yourself and them to do whatever it takes to lower the risks.

Contact Us: lovinghomecareservices.com/contact-us
Visit Us Online: lovinghomecareservices.com
Visit Us In Person: Suite 7 – 636 Clyde Avenue, West Vancouver, BC, V7T 1E1
Source: https://www.powerofpositivity.com/dementia-risk-habits-reduce/


Home Care Is The Preferred Option For Seniors

LHCS-Home-Care-Is-The-Preferred-Option-For-Seniors

Safer, Cheaper and Healthier: It’s Time To Look Again At Home Care for Older People

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the vulnerability of nursing homes.
  • Home care is a safer and cheaper option than residential care, and delivers better outcomes for patients.
  • Here’s how governments and healthcare providers can make home care more affordable and accessible.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the strengths and weaknesses of global healthcare systems. One area it has shone a light on is home care, both its benefits and its challenges. The industry delivers services such as doctor visits, nursing services such as wound care and naso-gastric tube change, chronic disease management, bathing, physiotherapy services, and non-clinical services as medication reminders, bathing and companionship.

The pandemic has up-ended institutional healthcare by limiting access to healthcare institutions as hospitals struggle to accommodate COVID-19 cases. Elective surgeries have been placed on hold, therapies have been interrupted and consultations curtailed. At the same time, the pandemic has exposed the vulnerability of nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities, which have seen rapid spread of the virus and have borne the brunt of COVID-19 deaths. In the US, 40% of deaths from this disease have been in nursing homes, while in Europe, 50% of deaths occurred in such facilities. In Canada, the figure has been as high as 80%. Staying at home has been the safest way for seniors to protect themselves during this pandemic, and to receive their needed medical services.

Why Home Care?

Even before the pandemic, home care has been a preferred care model for seniors. As people age, their biggest fear is loss of independence. In a 2007 study in the US, 26% of seniors said that their top fear was loss of independence. This was followed by 13% who identified moving out of the home and into nursing homes as their top fear. Death was the top concern of only 3% of respondents. The same survey showed that 89% of seniors believed it was very important to continue living at home.

Such feelings are understandable. Living at home ensures that seniors can continue to make decisions about their daily lives and are plugged into their social networks. Care is more easily personalized, and seniors enjoy a higher quality of life and greater personal happiness.

Home care has shown to be cheaper than institutional care, with improved patient outcomes. A 2019 research study that examined 17 million Medicare hospital admissions between 2010 and 2016, comparing home care and admission to a skilled nursing facility, found that home care was associated with average savings of $4,514 in the 60 days after hospitalization. With the use of technology aids such as personal emergency response systems and tele-monitoring, costs decrease further, as patient outcomes improve. In a 2016 study of the home health industry, home care providers were asked about the impact of the use of tele-health. The largest impact with tele-health reported by respondents was a 75% increase in overall quality of care, an 63% increase in patient satisfaction, and 63% lower unplanned hospitalizations.

Key Challenges

In spite of its benefits, choosing home care can be challenging. At higher levels of frailty and with conditions that require more clinical care, home care may not be viable or safe. Home care also requires greater caregiver participation, most likely from family members. The burden typically falls disproportionately on female family members, who need to do more to coordinate and oversee care, and fill in care gaps. They face skill inadequacies, and experience greater stress and anxiety in their informal caregiver roles. In the EU, women represent 62% of all people providing informal long-term care to older people or people with disabilities in the EU. Women of pre-retirement age (50–64) are most likely to be providing such care. This engenders greater inequalities for these women as they retire.

Globally, the home care industry suffers from workforce shortages, as the demand for home care aides outstrips supply. Though the supply of trained personnel is a problem across healthcare, in the home care segment, the deficiency is compounded by low wages and a lack of respect for the profession. In many countries, including the US and Singapore, prices are set by government reimbursement rates. The lack of political will to raise these prices effectively caps wages for home care staff, and affects investment in staff training and benefits. Because they enter patient homes and work alone, home care staff are at higher risk for verbal and physical abuse, rendering the industry even less attractive. Unable to grow the domestic workforce, many countries rely on immigration and temporary foreign workers to fill these roles, but this brings its own problems.

Compared to institutional care, the global home care industry is only lightly regulated, and this raises questions about quality and standards. Technology adoption remains low, even though this has the potential to improve productivity and effectiveness.

Solutions

Post-pandemic, governments should re-look at home care as it provides a safer, more affordable and higher-quality option for ageing seniors. This means reviewing how countries organize and finance healthcare, to move more budget and resources into home care. We can make home care more affordable and accessible for families by ensuring that it can be financed by public and private healthcare insurance. Raising subsidy rates for home care will help raise the wages of home care worker.

To enable more families to choose home care, we need to provide more information assistance and community support to informal caregivers. We should channel more financial resources to supporting unpaid caregivers, such as subsidies for families on home care and tax credits for informal caregivers.

We need to better define standards and improve regulation of the home care industry. These will improve care quality, raise training standards and further professionalize the industry. Home care also needs to be better integrated with hospitals and other types of community care, so that seniors can enjoy seamless multidisciplinary care across the care continuum. Governments should promote the use of technology in home care, especially since the advent of 5G and cloud computing can enable tele-health and other innovative care models that could lower cost, improve care outcomes and increase staff productivity. Technology can also play an important role in care integration.

Many countries have started to embrace community care as a way to improve quality and lower healthcare costs. The Covid-19 pandemic has given an additional impetus to the movement away from institutionalized care. Now is the time to make the necessary policy decisions to embrace home care and radically change the way our healthcare systems work.

Contact Us: lovinghomecareservices.com/contact-us
Visit Us Online: lovinghomecareservices.com
Visit Us In Person: Suite 7 – 636 Clyde Avenue, West Vancouver, BC, V7T 1E1
Source: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/10/why-home-could-be-the-safest-place-for-seniors-during-the-pandemic/


Health Tips For Seniors & Caregivers During Covid-19

LovingHomeCareServices-Covid-19-Health-TipsThe risk of becoming severely ill from COVID-19 symptoms increases with age. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 8 out of 10 deaths from COVID-19 have been among adults age 65 and older.

Learn more about why older adults, specifically those over the age of 60, are at an increased risk for complications from COVID-19. Plus, we offer strategies to keep seniors safe.

Why Does The Coronavirus Impact The Elderly To A Greater Degree? 

Older people are more likely to be living with a chronic illness that puts them at risk for COVID-19 complications. But the immune system changes that occur with age also explain the increased risk:

First-Line Defences: (White Blood Cells)

Leukocytes, or white blood cells, are your body’s first line of defence against germs. They usually act quickly to destroy the invaders (within the first few hours or minutes). Then they pass the battle plans to the second-line defenders (T cells). But with age, that hand-off becomes less effective:

  • The first-line defenders aren’t as good at communicating as when they were younger. They deliver less articulate instructions, so the confused second-line defenders respond less swiftly.
  • With age, the first-line defenders also seem to more slowly relinquish control to the T cells. They continue the fight and, in the process, produce an inflammatory response that causes acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). ARDS is a common complication of COVID-19.

Second-Line Defenders: (B & T cells)

The second-line of defenders are T cells that produce virus-destroying compounds. But as you age, your body produces fewer T cells. That means fewer soldiers to deal with new enemies, like the novel coronavirus.

The second-line defence also includes B cells that produce antibodies. As we age, the B cells aren’t as efficient at producing antibodies (just as older machinery doesn’t run as efficiently as the latest model).

The decline of B and T cells due to age could also impact “immune memory.” Research suggests that seniors who have survived COVID-19 may not be as protected if they are exposed in the future.

How Older Adults Can Say Healthy During The COVID-19 Pandemic

Like everyone, older Americans must practice physical distancing. Only leave your home for essential supplies and stay at least 6 feet from others to minimize contact. But isolation isn’t healthy, so use technology to stay connected.

Other wellness tips include:

  • Use telemedicine to stay in touch with your provider if you aren’t feeling well.
  • Stock up on medications and supplies. Experts recommend you have up to three months of prescription medicines and two weeks’ worth of food and other essential staples.
  • Make sure you are vaccinated for influenza and pneumococcal disease.
  • Create a plan with caregivers should you get sick. Call 911 if you experience emergency warning signs such as difficulty breathing, severe chest pain or pressure, lightheadedness or extreme disorientation.
  • Incorporate coping strategies to reduce the anxiety and fear you might be feeling. Now is a great time to take on a hobby you’ve been putting off or learn something new.

Tips For Caregivers

It is essential to designate a primary caregiver to be the only point of contact with seniors. That person should limit daily interactions to reduce the risk of exposure to the coronavirus.

If you have an older adult living with you, limit his or her exposure to others by creating a single living zone. Limit contact with other household members and be sure not to share any personal items.

If your loved one is in an assisted living environment, you must respect the rules they have in place to keep all residents safe. Work with the facility to ensure you stay connected with your loved one when visitor restrictions are in place.

Protective Actions That Apply To All Age Groups

Staying safe starts with prevention — follow these necessary steps:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. A hand sanitizer with 60% alcohol is an acceptable substitute.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough.
  • If you need to go out, wear a face mask.
  • Block entry points for germs by keeping your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Clean groceries, packages and all high-touch surfaces and high-use areas in your home with a disinfectant.

Contact Us: lovinghomecareservices.com/contact-us
Visit Us Online: lovinghomecareservices.com
Visit Us In Person: Suite 7 – 636 Clyde Avenue, West Vancouver, BC, V7T 1E1
Source: https://connect.uclahealth.org/2020/05/05/covid-19-and-seniors-adults-over-age-60-are-at-higher-risk/


Cannabis & Covid-19: The Answer?

O-Canacabis-Medical-Home-Hero

Cannabis extracts are showing potential in making people more resistant to the novel coronavirus, says an Alberta researcher leading a study.

After sifting through 400 cannabis strains, researchers at the University of Lethbridge are concentrating on about a dozen that show promising results in ensuring less fertile ground for the potentially lethal virus to take root, said biological scientist Dr. Igor Kovalchuk.

“A number of them have reduced the number of these (virus) receptors by 73 percent, the chance of it getting in is much lower,” said Kovalchuk. “If they can reduce the number of receptors, there’s much less chance of getting infected.” Employing cannabis sativa strains over the past three months, the researcher said the effective balance between cannabis components THC and CBD — the latter more typically associated with medical use — is still unclear in blocking the novel coronavirus.

“It will take a long time to find what the active ingredient is — there may be many,” said Kovalchuk, whose Pathway RX is owned partly by Olds-based licensed cannabis producer Sundial Growers and partnered with Alberta cannabis researcher Swysh. But it’s generally the anti-inflammatory properties of high-CBD content that have shown the most promise, he added. “We focus more on the higher CBD because people can take higher doses and not be impaired,” said Kovalchuk. The study under Health Canada licence using artificial human 3-D tissue models has been seeking ways to hinder the highly contagious novel coronavirus from finding a host in the lungs, intestines, and oral cavity.

If successful, the work could find practical medical use in the form of mouth wash, gargle, inhalants or gel caps, said Kovalchuk. “It would be cheaper for people and have a lot fewer side-effects,” he said. But the absence of clinical trials remains a barrier, and funding from an increasingly cash-strapped cannabis industry isn’t there to fuel that, said Kovalchuk. “We have clinicians who are willing to work with us but for a lot of companies in the cannabis business, it’s significant cash that they can’t afford,” he said.

The scientist emphasized the findings wouldn’t lead to a vaccine — something “less specific and precise” but nonetheless another possible weapon against COVID-19. The extracts of our most successful and novel high CBD C sativa lines, pending further investigation, may become a useful and safe addition to the treatment of COVID-19 as an adjunct therapy,” said Kovalchuk. “Given the current dire and rapidly evolving epidemiological situation, every possible therapeutic opportunity and avenue must be considered.”

Israeli researchers have begun clinical trials of CBD as a treatment to repair cells damaged by COVID-19 by using its anti-inflammatory abilities. It’s thought CBD could enhance the traditional effect of steroids in such treatment of patients in life-threatening condition and also bolster the immune system. It’s the kind of research and his own that deserves government support in Canada, whose federal government has pledged $1.1 billion in funding for COVID-19 research said the U of L scientist.

“Our work could have a huge influence — there aren’t many drugs that have the potential of reducing infection by 70 to 80 percent,” he said.

Considering Medicinal Cannabis?

Are you seeking Medicinal Cannabis? Loving Home Care Services is pleased to be partnered with Apollo Cannabis & Spectrum Therapeutics – a medical division of Canopy Growth Corporation (TSX: WEED.TO) – as Canada’s first home health care provider to provide online access, education and support for ageing adults, seniors and immediate family members. If you or a loved one is interested in accessing medicinal cannabis, please visit lovinghomecareservices.com to learn more. Alternatively, click on the Apollo Cannabis Clinic logo on our home page to be forwarded on how-to steps and more!

Contact Us: lovinghomecareservices.com/contact-us
Visit Us Online: lovinghomecareservices.com
Visit Us In Person: Suite 7 – 636 Clyde Avenue, West Vancouver, BC, V7T 1E1
Source: https://calgaryherald.com/cannabis/cannabis-shows-promise-blocking-coronavirus-infection-alberta-researcher/


Seniors Fastest Growing Group Of Cannabis Users

LovingHomeCareServices-Cannabis-For-Seniors-2-scaled.jpegAccording to the recently published third quarter of the National Cannabis Survey released by Statistics Canada, Seniors aged 65 years and older are the age group showing the most growth in cannabis usage. The results reported in the survey show that during the second and third quarters of 2019, there were approximately 578,000 new cannabis users (users who reported trying cannabis for the first time in the past three months). These data show that today there are 10 times more seniors using cannabis compared to 2012, when only 40,000 seniors reported using cannabis.

Interestingly, the results of the survey also demonstrated that first-time cannabis use increases with age. Approximately 10% of cannabis users aged 25 to 44 were new users, compared to (27%) of cannabis consumers aged 65 and older.

Earlier this year, the Cambridge Council on Aging hosted an expert panel to address significant knowledge gaps regarding the risks and benefits of cannabis for older adults who are taking other medication. In January 2019, Sharon Livingtsone, chair of the council, had already pointed out that cannabis use was becoming more common among older adults.

The survey data also reveals that about half of the older cannabis users consumed cannabis for medical reasons, with the remaining seniors categorizing their consumption as recreational use (24%) and both medical and non-medical reasons (24%). Moreover, seniors were more likely to buy their cannabis from legal sources. The report states that approximately 28% of cannabis users (1.4 million Canadians) reported obtaining the cannabis they consumed from a legal source, and consumers aged 65 years and older (41% of users) being the most likely to use only legally-obtained cannabis, compared with about one-quarter of younger consumers (23% to 29%).

Considering Medicinal Cannabis?

Are you seeking Medicinal Cannabis? Loving Home Care Services is pleased to be partnered with Apollo Cannabis & Spectrum Therapeutics – a medical division of Canopy Growth Corporation (TSX: WEED.TO) – as Canada’s first home health care provider to provide online access, education and support for ageing adults, seniors and immediate family members. If you or a loved one is interested in accessing medicinal cannabis, please visit lovinghomecareservices.com to learn more. Alternatively, click on the Apollo Cannabis Clinic logo on our home page to be forwarded on how-to steps and more!

Contact Us: lovinghomecareservices.com/contact-us
Visit Us Online: lovinghomecareservices.com
Visit Us In Person: Suite 7 – 636 Clyde Avenue, West Vancouver, BC, V7T 1E1


Home – What Does It Mean To You? (Video)

Home isn’t just a place – it evokes years of feelings and memories. What does home mean to you?

It is cliché but maybe the sooner we can all realize that we are all in this together is the day we can begin to understand life and the course that it really takes. But there is always one thing that we will all have in common… and that is we all want to feel safe and comfortable in our homes. Our shelter. Our safe place. Our love. View our video below and we hope you enjoy it. And if you do, please share with your friends, family and social media.

Stay home. Stay healthy. We are all in this together.

‘Where we love is home – home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.’ ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes

Contact Us: lovinghomecareservices.com/contact-us
Visit Us Online: lovinghomecareservices.com
Visit Us In Person: Suite 7 – 636 Clyde Avenue, West Vancouver, BC, V7T 1E1


4 Ways to Lower Your Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease

LovingHomeCareServices-4-Ways-To-Lower-Your-Risk-of-Alzheimers-DiseaseNext to a diagnosis of cancer, perhaps the most feared diagnosis many people carry in the back of their minds is Alzheimer’s Disease. You may also know it as Alzheimer’s Dementia.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s Disease affects 5.8 million Americans as of 2019.  This is across all age groups.  Approximately 200,000 are under the age of 65 with what is labelled as Early Onset Alzheimer’s disease.  From the original number of 5.8 million diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, an astounding 81% of them are aged 75 and up.

In comparison, people ages 65-74 only make up about 3% of the statistics.  The population of Americans reaching age 75 will increase from 55 million to 88 million by 2050. That makes for staggering numbers and a reasonable concern for your elder years.  However, some of the markers begin to show themselves in the brain as much as 20 years before diagnosis. Thus, taking steps to decrease your risk only makes sense.  A neurologist explains four ways to lower your risk of Alzheimer’s Disease.

WHAT IS ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE?

Alzheimer’s has become almost synonymous with ageing that people may forget that it is not a normal part of ageing. Also, dementia is not the same as Alzheimer’s.  Dementia is a symptom of Alzheimer’s, or it can stand alone as its disease.

Alzheimer’s is a degenerative brain disease. Furthermore, it begins its battle on your brain upwards of 20 years or more before you have significant symptoms.  During that time, our brain can compensate for the gradual deterioration until the damage has become severe enough that symptoms such as lack of memory or language difficulties occur.

HOW ALZHEIMER’S DESTROYS THE BRAIN

Our brain transfers information via neurons and branches of the neurons with synapses used to connect them all together.  The data is like a spark of static electricity from one neuron to another neuron.  This process is what allows for our memory, thoughts, sensations, skills, emotions, and motion.   With Alzheimer’s disease, two proteins attach themselves to the neurons.

Beta-amyloid plaques attach to the outside of the neurons.  They are believed to cause cell death by preventing the neurons from being able to communicate with each other at the synapses.

The second protein is called tau tangles, and it attaches to the inside of the neurons. It is believed to essentially create the starvation of the neurons by blocking the ability of nutrients and other molecules to get in.

As the beta-amyloid plaques increase to such a high level, they push the tau tangles to spread throughout the brain.  This then triggers the microglia in the brain.  Microglia are designed to rid the body of toxins and are the janitors of the dead cells.  An abundance of the two proteins become viewed as a toxin, creating inflammation as a response from the microglia attempting to decrease their numbers.  As the microglia is overwhelmed, more brain cells die off, and the brain begins to atrophy.  At the same time, the brain is unable to use glucose, which is its primary energy source, furthering the damage.

This decline continues as the plaques and tangles spread to include the various function of the brain.  It can affect the person’s personality, create confusion, noticeable memory loss, including time and place, depression, and eventually, in the final stages, semi-automated body functions begin to fail.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE?

The symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease can be similar to normal ageing mental decline except to a much higher degree.  It is not unusual for anyone to forget where they placed something.  The difference is that an average person will be able to retrace their steps that day and find the lost item.  An Alzheimer’s patient will have no recollection of their day at all.  Here are some of the other symptoms of Alzheimer’s:

1 – A SIGNIFICANT DECLINE IN MEMORY.

An individual with Alzheimer’s will have difficulty remembering new information, dates, events, or needing a constant repeat of other information that typically they were capable of handling.  You may find them write themselves notes. Or, they might need friends and family to remind them about normal daily things.

2 – A DECREASED APTITUDE FOR PROBLEM-SOLVING

Problem-solving, working within a plan, or ability to work with numbers decrease. Suddenly they have problems paying bills, doing simple math, counting money, or figuring out how to double a recipe.

3 – TIME AND PLACE ARE CONFUSING.

They begin to lose track of seasons, dates, or how much time has passed.  For example, they may go for a walk and not realize how much time has passed. Nor will they recall why they are where they are.  In fact, they may not even recognize where they are and become lost altogether.

4 – SIGHT AND SPATIAL AWARENESS DECLINES.

They may have difficulty reading, identifying colours, and judging depth or distance.

5 – COMMUNICATING AND VOCABULARY BECOME DIFFICULT.

They may be unable to find the right words often or substitute other phrases to represent an everyday item.  They may start a conversation and then forget what they were saying or stop talking as if they didn’t remember they were speaking.

6 – LESS HYGIENIC AND DISPLAYS JUDGMENT IMPAIRMENT.

More susceptible to buying sprees or telemarketers. They become forgetful about bathing, brushing, and flossing, or other self-care habits.

7 – SOCIAL ACTIVITIES DECLINE.

As they become more aware of their deficiencies, they begin to withdraw from family and friends.  They are no longer able to follow conversations, TV shows, and do their hobbies.

8 – PERSONALITY BEGINS TO CHANGE.

As their world becomes more of a scary place, they become overly suspicious, hostile, angry, and confused.

WHAT ARE FOUR WAYS TO LOWER YOUR RISK OF DEVELOPING ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE?

study recently published in “Alzheimer’s and Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association.” provides hope towards the potential improvement of brain functions and a decrease in Alzheimer’s symptoms within 18 months of following a specified plan.  This plan involves diet, exercise, and doing cognitive exercises.

The study was organized and written by Dr. Robert Issacson, a founder of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic at NewYork-Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Medical Center. He and his research staff conducted a study by asking clients of his to volunteer.   They had 154 patients between the ages of 25-86 volunteer.

These patients were non-symptomatic but had a history of Alzheimer’s in their family. And, they already showed a decline in cognitive function on specific tests but not any clinical symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer’s.  Thirty-five of the volunteers displayed the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s or Mild Cognitive impairment.  MCI means they show strong signs of cognitive difficulties that have not reached a level of daily impairment.

All of the volunteers underwent a battery of family health questions,  medical, and cognitive testing to ascertain a total healthy picture as well as determine if they were displaying cognitive impairment leaning toward Alzheimer’s.  Those who did display cognitive impairment, in some degree, underwent further evaluations.

Researchers gave each of the members a personalized, specialized list of 21 activities to follow.  An emphasis was placed on nutrition and physical activity, yet that portion of the plan was designed specifically for each individual.  Some of the details on the list that the group monitored was:

THE STUDY’S RESULTS

The results were impressive.  The individuals diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment who followed at least 12 of the 21 activities demonstrated an improvement in memory and thinking skills 18 months later.

For those with MCI who did not follow at least 60% or 12 of the 21 activities, they showed no improvement and declined in memory and thinking.

The individuals who had a family predisposition to Alzheimer’s but were not displaying any symptoms also had marked improvement regardless if they did 60% or less of the list.

The medical field has already been doing studies to attempt to ascertain the role nutrient or diet and exercise may play on Alzheimer’s, but this is the first study to personalize the diet and exercise per the patient’s health needs or difficulties.   The other two factors which this study ruled as being critical toward the delay of Alzheimer’s are sleep and learning something new.

This study may not be a cure, but it does point to a method to decrease the cognitive decline during those 20 plus years before the sharp onset of symptoms.

Visit our Alzheimer’s Page to learn more about our Alzheimer’s Care Services.

Contact Us: lovinghomecareservices.com/contact-us
Visit Us Online: lovinghomecareservices.com
Visit Us In Person: Suite 7 – 636 Clyde Avenue, West Vancouver, BC, V7T 1E1
Original Content: https://www.powerofpositivity.com/alzheimers-disease-neurologist-explains-lowering-risk/


Coronavirus – What You Need To Know

LovingHomeCareServices-Coronavirus-What-You-Need-To-KnowAs you have discovered by now, on Tuesday, January 28th, the Ministry of Health announced a confirmed case of the coronavirus case in B.C., identified in the Vancouver Coastal Health region. The latest count as of Friday, February 6th, there are now 4 confirmed cases in B.C.

The first patient, a 40-year-old man who regularly travels to China, is currently in isolation at home and lives in the Vancouver Coastal Health region. He had recently travelled to Wuhan city, which is considered the epicentre of the outbreak.

IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE; the new coronavirus is not as infectious as other viruses like influenza or measles and that it’s not something that people can get from “casual contact.”

As Stated In A Report; “We know that the receptors for the virus are quite deep in the lungs, so you have to inhale enough of the virus that it can actually bind to those receptors deep in the lungs,” she said. “Coronavirus, in general, is in larger droplets, so these are droplets that fall quickly out of the air. So you have to be in relatively close contact with somebody to be able to inhale those viruses if they cough or sneeze.”

The most important things you can do is wash your hands regularly, cover your mouth when you cough and stay away from others if you’re sick.

“If you’re touching something that has droplets on it with the virus in it, as long as you clean your hands before you touch your face or your mouth, you’re not going to be at risk of getting that virus in your body,” she said. “It’s not something that comes in through the skin. It needs to get into your mucous membranes and breathed into your lungs.”

Prevention And Screening Measures

In a news release from the ministry of health, the province said the general public doesn’t necessarily need to take extra measures to protect themselves from the virus.

“It is not necessary for the general public to take special precautions beyond the usual measures recommended to prevent other common respiratory viruses during the winter period,” the news release said.

“Regular hand washing, coughing or sneezing into your elbow sleeve, disposing of tissues appropriately and avoiding contact with sick people are important ways to prevent the spread of respiratory illness generally.”

Coronavirus Signs And Symptoms

If you have been travelling and you become ill or become ill after you return home, tell your health care provider about recent travel and your symptoms. You should also tell your provider if you had close contact with a sick person or had another high-risk exposure such as direct contact with animals.

Reported signs and symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Coughing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Pneumonia in both lungs.

Information For Travellers

The Public Health Agency of Canada has issued a Travel Health Notice for individuals travelling to China to avoid all travel to the province of Hubei, including the cities of Wuhan, Huanggang and Ezhou, due to the imposition of heavy travel restrictions in order to limit the spread of a novel coronavirus. The alert also recommends travellers take usual precautionary measures:

  • Wash hands regularly
  • Avoid contact with live animals such as at farms and markets.
  • Avoid eating raw animals.
  • Avoid surfaces with animal secretions such as blood and droppings.
  • Go to the Government of Canada for the latest travel alerts.

Information For Travellers Returning To Vancouver

The Public Health Agency of Canada has implemented measures over the coming weeks to detect and contain the infection. These measures include messaging on arrivals screens at the Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver international airports reminding travellers from Wuhan to inform a border service officer if they are experiencing flu-like symptoms, and an additional health screening question to be added to electronic kiosks.

British Columbians should always tell their health care providers about their recent travel if they become ill after returning to Canada.

Health Information For Health Providers

Health providers should ask the patient presenting with respiratory illness about recent travel.  To facilitate early detection and containment, clinicians should notify their local medical health officer as soon as possible about patients presenting with:

  • Fever and acute respiratory illness, with or without pneumonia
  • Recent travel to Hubei Province (includes Wuhan City), China within 14 days prior to symptom onset
  • Another potential relevant exposure such as close contact with someone who was ill and had recently travelled to Hubei Province (includes Wuhan City), China.

BCCDC (British Columbia Centre for Disease Control) is providing regular updates and information on the situation and detection and containment measures to health care providers including medical health officers, infectious disease specialists, medical microbiologists, emergency department physicians, public health nurses, infection control practitioners, airport authorities and others.

Check the BCCDC bulletins on emerging respiratory viruses for current information.

Loving Home Care Services Advice

At this stage, we recognize that the situation is rapidly evolving, we suggest:

  • Monitoring the situation before any travel to China
  • Maintain good hygiene practices including frequent washing of hands – carry hand sanitizer and avoid touching your face
  • As much as reasonable, keep your distance from those exhibiting obvious signs of illness
  • If you become sick or think you might be sick while travelling, contact your nearest clinic and notify us directly.

Nevertheless, experts stress the need to be vigilant and prepared for signs of infection. If you have mild cold-like symptoms, health officials encourage you to stay home while sick and avoid close contact to help protect others. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and be sure to throw used tissues in the trash and wash your hands. Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces.

Contact Us: lovinghomecareservices.com/contact-us
Visit Us Online: lovinghomecareservices.com
Visit Us In Person: Suite 7 – 636 Clyde Avenue, West Vancouver, BC, V7T 1E1


Cannabis For Seniors – What Does It Mean To You?

LovingHomeCareServices-Cannabis-For-SeniorsIt may surprise you to know that the fastest-growing demographic for medical cannabis use is for seniors. Since 2014, according to a publication by Schauer et al., in the American Journal Preventative Medicine in 2016, there has been about a 700% growth with adults over the age of 50 utilizing medical cannabis.

Cannabis has been legal for medical use in Canada since 2001 under different regulations.  Fast forward to 2017 and in a monumental moment on October 17th cannabis became federally legal for recreational consumption.  The history behind cannabis starts much earlier than most know of as far as about 5,000 years back it was being used as a medicine.  Commonly used in the 1800s and early 1900s, however, under the first federal marijuana law of 1937 in the United States the substance was prohibited and effectively banned the use of cannabis.

What Does It Do?

There are studies that show it can be effective to manage pain and spasticity along with people finding benefit to assist with sleep issues, appetite stimulation and to combat nausea (often from chemotherapy).

You have choices when using medical cannabis, there are products with THC (delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol) and products with CBD (cannabidiol).  Now you are wondering what the difference is between those two. We explain…

THC & CBD

THCCannabinoid receptors are concentrated in certain areas of the brain associated with thinking, memory, pleasure, coordination and time perception. THC attaches to these receptors and activates them which can lead to elevated mood, relaxation, increased appetite, it can also help with pain, sleep and spasticity. THC is the primary molecule responsible for the “High” associated with cannabis.

CBDCannabidiol provides the user’s benefits without the feeling of euphoria or intoxication that some people feel from THC.  CBD has strong anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, in addition to being neuroprotective and help with anxiety.

Both of these forms of cannabis can be consumed in different varieties.  The dried product can be vaporized, oils can be ingested via capsules or consuming the oil right from the dosed syringe. Cannabis for seniors is highly popular in capsules and tinctures form.

A recent study, published in the European Journal of Internal Medicine, found that the therapeutic use of cannabis is safe and efficacious for older persons who need relief from chronic pain, Parkinson’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis and other disorders. 2,736 people aged 65 and older found that medical cannabis was a safe and effective treatment for pain with 93% of the study participants reporting improved quality of life following medical cannabis therapy.

“After monitoring patients 65 and older for six months, we found medical cannabis treatment significantly relieves pain and improves the quality of life for seniors with minimal side effects reported,” said internal medicine Prof. Victor Novack of BGU’s Faculty of Health Sciences and head of the Soroka Clinical Research Center.

Louise’s Story

Louise, 78 years old, has suffered for years from debilitating back pain due to spinal stenosis and arthritis.  After two failed spinal surgeries, she was seeking alternatives to the traditional pharmaceutical therapies she currently was taking.  She didn’t like the side effects of the medication and thought there could be a better option, something that was more holistic.

After doing her research (and working with her Pharmacist) she decided she wanted to try out CBD oil to help manage her daytime pain.  With some time invested, she has found her optimal dose and no longer needs any type of traditional pain medication to help her during the day.  Next on the list, help get a good restorative sleep.  Would this be with CBD? Short answer, no.  She needed a little bit of THC to help with sleep and pain management during the night.  Louise takes a small amount of THC oil just before bedtime and is now able to sleep comfortably throughout the night.  The mornings aren’t so painful getting out of bed and she is not feeling impaired at all when she wakes up.  Just well-rested.

Her outlook on life has changed because of her overall feeling of well-being, from morning to night.  Pain doesn’t control how Louise now lives her life, she can now be more involved with activities and within her social network.

This is just one account of how cannabis for seniors can assist in the daily life of an individual.  Check with your Pharmacist who is equipped to help support and manage your care to see if medical cannabis could be right for you.

Considering Medicinal Cannabis?

Are you seeking Medicinal Cannabis? Loving Home Care Services is pleased to be partnered with Apollo Cannabis & Spectrum Therapeutics – a medical division of Canopy Growth Corporation (TSX: WEED.TO) – as Canada’s first home health care provider to provide online access, education and support for ageing adults, seniors and immediate family members. If you or a loved one is interested in accessing medicinal cannabis, please visit lovinghomecareservices.com to learn more. Alternatively, click on the Apollo Cannabis Clinic logo on our home page to be forwarded on how-to steps and more!

Contact Us: lovinghomecareservices.com/contact-us
Visit Us Online: lovinghomecareservices.com
Visit Us In Person: Suite 7 – 636 Clyde Avenue, West Vancouver, BC, V7T 1E1


I Need Care! What Is Out There? Part 2

LovingHomeCareServices_I_Need_Care_What_Is_Out_There_2The Health Care System can be confusing and difficult to navigate.  When you suddenly find yourself or someone you know needing care, you may become flooded with questions and concerns about what should you do, what is available, what is the cost and what does it all mean? Should you move to an assisted living residence or stay to receive home care assistance where you are and get help in-home?  In this two-part series, we will describe the various options available to you so you can review them and discuss with your loved ones to find which option is the best fit for you.

Option 2 of 2

Staying In The Comforts of Home

If you decide to stay in your own home, these are the options available to you;

1. Subsidized Home CareProvides support for you and your caregivers in your daily living activities including bathing, dressing, exercising, medication administration and more. The goal of publicly subsidized home support services is to help you remain independent and safe in your own home as long as possible.  As with all home and community care services, the services you receive are based on your personal care needs. You must meet eligibility requirements for subsidized home support. These include;

  • Be 19 years of age and over
  • Have lived in British Columbia for three months
  • Be a Canadian citizen or have permanent resident status
  • Be unable to function independently because of chronic, health-related problems or have been diagnosed by a doctor with an end-stage illness
  • Be a landed immigrant, or are on a Minister’s permit approved by the Ministry of Health Services

You must be assessed by Home and Community Care, usually in your home, to determine your eligibility and the services needed.   There are clear guidelines and restrictions on the services provided by Home and Community Care. You will need to discuss these specifics with your case manager. Also, there is a cost for this service which is income-based.

2. Private Home Support – There are many private agencies and individuals that provide private care in your home. Private home support provides the same type of services as the subsidized system but has more flexibility and a much wider range of services they can provide and assist you with including transportation, shopping, errands, medical appointments – just to name a few. Also, you can request a consistent worker visit each day rather than a different worker each time service is provided as what occurs with the subsidized system. This consistency aids in the acceptance of the service and reduces the stress to the client and/or caregivers.

These agencies can be found in the yellow pages, newspaper, internet or through your local health unit. There are many individuals that can take advantage of a senior and prey on their trust, therefore it is imperative you find an agency, and or individual, that is reputable and reliable with bonded employees.

The cost of this service varies with each agency and is billed directly to the client and/or caregiver.

Contact Us: lovinghomecareservices.com/contact-us
Visit Us Online: lovinghomecareservices.com
Visit Us In Person: Suite 7 – 636 Clyde Avenue, West Vancouver, BC, V7T 1E1