Home Instead Senior Care, Birmingham

Study shows benefits of close ties

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Study shows benefits of close ties
Having close ties with family and friends may boost your longevity, making as much difference as not smoking, a new report suggests.
Researchers, who looked at the results of 148 studies, estimated that adults with strong personal relationships may live an average of almost four years longer than those with weaker social ties, a Health Day article notes.
Study author Julianne Holt-Lunstad of Brigham Young University said that the analysis doesn’t prove that relationships directly help people live longer, but it seems clear that “our relationships come with more than just emotional benefits. They can influence our longevity and our health.”
Strong relationships appear to have an effect comparable to that of quitting smoking and a greater effect than risk factors such as obesity and alcohol abuse, she said.
Study authors say the challenge now is to put this information to good use. They noted that in this era of technology, the quantity and quality of relationships seem to be decreasing.

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Study sheds light on emotions of Alzheimer’s patients

Friday, September 17, 2010

Watching a loved one struggle with Alzheimer’s disease can be a painful process, but for the patient, the experience may be a muted one.

Alzheimer’s patients can appear withdrawn and apathetic, symptoms often attributed to memory problems or difficulty finding the words to communicate. According to a new University of Florida study, they may also have a decreased ability to experience emotions.

According to the study, when Alzheimer’s patients were asked to place an emotional value on pictures, they measured the pleasant images as less pleasant and the negative scenes as less negative compared with a control group of normal elderly people. This emotional flatness could be incorrectly interpreted as a symptom of depression.

The study’s authors proposed several reasons for the flatness. Previous studies reveal that such symptoms of Alzheimer’s are caused by deterioration of neural systems, said Dr. Kenneth Heilman, senior author. “Even in its early stages, Alzheimer’s destroys the areas of the brain that produce chemical neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine, which is essential for experiencing fear and anger,” he said.

Misinterpreting the images or not understanding the meaning of some pictures — a comprehension disorder — could have skewed the results, but the volunteers were given a naming test to minimize this possibility.

Families of Alzheimer’s patients can gain new perspective from the study, according to Dr. Todd Feinberg, a professor of clinical neurology and psychiatry at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York, who did not participate in the research. “Caregivers also should be helped to understand that it is not ‘their fault’ if a loved one seems emotionally indifferent to them.”

Caregivers need to make sure they are taking care of themselves. A great resource for caregivers is www.caregiverstress.com
At Home Instead Senior Care we can assist caregivers so they do not get burned out by being there with their loved ones. If you need assistance please contact us at 822-1915.

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Increase your cognitive functions by....drinking wine?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Yes please! 

Over a seven year study seniors that consumed wine at a moderate level (what a moderate level is was not provided in the article, hmmm) at least four times a week performed better than non-drinkers on cognitive function tests. An article from Senior Journal reports why & how here.

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Can a Test Determine if You Will Develop Alzheimer's?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Are you ready to know if Mom/Dad/you will develop Alzheimer's. You better be if you take this test. It has 100% accuracy for those that are currently suffering significant memory loss.

Check out this article from the Denver Post that explains how a spinal-fluid test can predict it.

Mary Maxwell's Invocation - This will make you smile!

Friday, September 10, 2010

To us it's personal

Tools for Cholesterol Screening

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The American Heart Association has some great information about cholesterol and taking care of your heart.
Please click here to view their website.

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September is National Cholesterol Awareness Month

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

High blood cholesterol is one of the major risk factors for developing heart disease. Cholesterol is a fatty substance that exists in your blood. When there is too much cholesterol, it builds up in the walls of the arteries, causing decreased blood flow, which can lead to a heart attack.

High blood cholesterol affects more than 65 million Americans. High cholesterol itself does not cause symptoms, so many people are unaware that they are at risk. That's why regular cholesterol testing is important.

There are several factors that can affect cholesterol levels, some of which you can control:
  • Diet
  • Weight
  • Physical activity
  • Age & gender
  • Heredity

According to the National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute, everyone over the age of 20 should have his or her cholesterol checked at least once every five years. September is National Cholesterol Education Month, which serves as a good reminder to get your cholesterol checked and take steps to lower your numbers if they are too high.

from Happenings August 2010.

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Birthday Celebrations!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Here are a few scrapbook pages from a few of our Client's birthdays! We always enjoy celebrating Birthdays!

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