Slow Walking Speed Could Be Indicator for Alzheimer’s
How fast elderly people walk may be related to the amount of amyloid plaques they have built up in their brains. These plaques are often associated with Alzheimer’s. So even if someone does not have the disease, their slow walking speed could be a risk indicator according to a study published in Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
The study involved 128 people with an average age of 76 who did not have dementia but were considered at high risk for developing it because they had some concerns about their memory. Of the participants, 48 percent had a level of amyloid often associated with dementia.
Caregiver Help – All in Once Place, Virtually Yours Forever
Over the last few months, we have been focusing our Summit information on our experts. With this article, we focus on our content. Think about the benefits of this VIRTUAL Summit for caregivers.
- It’s virtual – watch anytime on any device with the all-access registration.
- It’s a great value – to see the caliber of speakers and the topics presented at a conference or meeting would costs hundreds if not thousands of dollars. And the chances of having this caliber of experts all in one place is slim. For just $79, you will hear from 51 world-renown experts on 53 amazing topics.
- It’s yours forever – Once you purchase the all-access option, you have access to the videos all the time.
- It will make your caregiving journey easier and less stressful.
- It will help improve your own health.
Take a look at the topics:
- Rewriting the Aging Script – From Surviving to Thriving
- Legal Strategies to Protect Yourself and a Loved One
- Retirement Income Planning
- Frauds and Schemes – What’s the Latest and How to Avoid
- Guardianship – What You Don’t Know Will Scare You
- Elder Abuse
- Aging in Place
- Designing Your Home for Aging in Place
- Downsizing and Moving
- Reverse Mortgages
- Aging in Place When Living Alone
- Active Daily Living Platform
- Recognizing When Mom or Dad Need Care
- Handling Family Dynamics When Caregiving
- Joy Filled Visits – Maximizing Family Time
- Having the Hard Talks with Aging Parents
- Strategies for Long-Distance Caregiving
- The Role of the Geriatric Care Manager
- Aging in Place Technology
- Emerging Products and Services
- Purposeful Caregiving
- Roommate Matching Services
- Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities
- Adult Day Care
- Choosing Home Health
- Physician Concierge Services
- Advocating for Your Healthcare
- What is Dementia?
- Living with Early Onset Dementia
- Positive Approaches to Care
- Dementia – From Crisis to Comfort
- Dementia Friendly Communities
- Dementia Action Alliance – Helping People Live Well
- Dealing with Caregiver Stress
- Laughter as the Best Medicine for Caregivers
- Developing Friendships and Support Networks
- Battling Caregiver Fatigue
- Practicing Gratitude
- Combatting Ageism
- Changing the Workplace Culture Toward Caregiving
- Caregiving and Millennials
- Grandparents – the Club Sandwich Generation
- Choosing Long-Term Care
- Paying for Long-Term Care
- Bullying in Senior Living
- Traveling with Seniors
- Activities for Seniors Beyond Bingo
- Social Media and Seniors
- Advance Directives
- The Go Wish Game
- After the Caregiving is Over
- Demystifying Hospice and Palliative Care
- Eight Lessons We Can Learn from Seniors
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 15.7% of people 60 years and older are subjected to abuse. These are underestimates, of course, because most cases of elder abuse are not reported.
(from my Sixty and Me Blog)
I had the good fortune to interview Susan Susskind for our Caregiver Smile Summit. She has worked with the International Federation of Ageing to develop a tool kit used worldwide to educate people about elder abuse. She also served as the Director of Development on a volunteer basis for the National Adult Protective Service Association.
Susan says that one out of every ten elders have been touched with some form of abuse, and 60% of that abuse is done by a family member. She echoes the WHO statistic but says that only one in 14 cases is reported.
Know the Warning Signs
First, be specially concerned if someone has dementia. With limited cognitive function, they are ripe for exploitation. Also, people who are isolated can become easy targets.
When it comes to physical abuse, use your senses. Look for signs of physical or sexual abuse – bruises, black eyes, welts, lacerations and rope marks.
Is there a new best friend around? Does a home care worker refuse to allow you to see your loved one alone?
For emotional abuse, observe if your loved one is emotionally upset or agitated. Other signs are being extremely withdrawn and non-communicative. They may even self-report being verbally or emotionally mistreated.
In terms of financial exploitation, unopened mail could indicate memory problems, vision problems or hint at financial problems. Sweepstakes circulars could indicate they or someone else is responding to offers.
Check for any changes in the loved one’s bank account. Check for any additional names on a bank signature card. Check their bank statements. Is there unauthorized withdrawal of funds?
In terms of self-neglect, observe any sudden weight loss. Is the refrigerator stocked with nourishing foods? Is the house clean? Is the laundry done? Sure, people slow down but they also may give up. That is not a good sign.
Susan shares the one of the telltale signs is simply looking for changes in the behavior of your loved one. You know them the best. Go with your gut, and if anything feels different, investigate it.
Know How to Protect Your Loved One
Susan encourages caregivers, especially long-distance caregivers, to be on the phone with a loved one as much as possible. If you are closer in geography, visit as often as you can. Scrutinize the care professionals and agencies your loved one or you are hiring for their care needs.
Also, she urges people to keep two notebooks in the house. One should contain pertinent information about your loved one – DNRs, medication lists, advance directives, etc. It is also a place where family members should write notes when they visit.
The second notebook should be for caregiving staff. This is especially useful if there is 24/7 care. The notes help the next shift as they get ready to care for the person.
It is important when you visit to enjoy your time, but also, be able to delve into potential issues with mom or dad. Schedule a visit with your elder’s physician during the time you are there.
Identify a social support system for your loved one. This includes people they can call on, such as friends, neighbors, clergy and others in regular contact.
Even if loved ones are fine, advance planning can help you to avoid a crisis in the future. Take a medication inventory. Document the names of physicians. Make sure your loved ones have a living will and durable power of attorney. Know where to find their financial information.
Report Your Concerns
In the U.S. we have Adult Protective Services (APS), social services provided to abused, neglected or exploited older adults and adults with significant disabilities. It is typically administered by local or state health, aging or regulatory departments and includes a multidisciplinary approach to helping older adults, and younger adults with disabilities, who are victims.
Services range from the initial investigation of mistreatment, to health and supportive services and legal interventions, up to and including the appointment of surrogate decision-makers such as legal guardians. Check in your country for the appropriate agencies.
If it is an emergency, simply call the police.
Elder abuse is unforgiveable and, unfortunately, happens more than we know and more than is reported. Sadly, it is often initiated by family members. It takes a village to protect our elders. Elders who are isolated or who have no family need the help of the community. That is when all of us can step up and help.
Do you know cases of elder abuse in your community? What is being done about it? How are you getting involved to protect our eldest citizens? Please share your experiences below!
Anthony Cirillo is president of The Aging Experience. He helps organizations craft experiences and seize opportunities the mature marketplace. He helps family caregivers thrive and individuals make educated aging decisions. He is a consultant and professional speaker.
In Grieving: How To Help A Senior Handle The Loss Of A Loved One
Losing a spouse is a terribly difficult thing to go through at any age, but for seniors, the loss may hit particularly hard. Going through decades together builds a strong bond that many of us can only hope for in our own relationships, and a sudden loss can bring about grief, depression, anger, and physical issues such as loss of appetite and sleep.
If you have a loved one who has recently lost a spouse, it’s important to try and understand how difficult this time is for them, and that there is no set mourning period for everyone. Grief has to run its course, and you may feel helpless at times, but there are many things you can do to help your loved one get through the grieving.
Here are some of the best ways you can help.
Get him some help
Try to keep your loved one on a schedule
Find a support group
Don’t make major changes right away
Make sure they aren’t abusing alcohol or drugs