Archive for the ‘Aging’ Category

Just for Fun

August 22, 2013 4 comments

What a wonderful face!!!!

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Dehydration and Dementia

July 17, 2013 1 comment

Image courtesy rakratchada torsap @ http://www.freedigitalphotos.netI heard on the news this morning that most of the U.S. is experiencing dangerously high heat levels.  Warnings have been issued for people to take steps to avoid becoming over-heated, and to be sure to drink plenty of fluids.  So I thought it would be good to share some information about dehydration, and specifically how it can affect persons who have dementia.

Dehydration is very common in the elderly.  I have heard that it is the second most common diagnosis for the elderly, when they are admitted to the hospital.  In one study, 31 percent of the residents in a long-term care facility were found to be dehydrated.  Another study showed that 48 percent of older adults admitted to the hospital from the emergency room showed signs of dehydration.

Dehydration occurs when a person’s body gives off more water than it takes in — through urination, sweat, metabolic processes, and other means.  The human body relies on water to regulate our body temperature, maintain blood pressure, and get rid of bodily waste, among other things.  If we don’t take in enough water, it can lead to confusion, weakness, urinary tract infections, pneumonia, bedsores in persons who spend most of their time in bed.  In extreme cases, dehydration can cause death.

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More On Dementia and Depression

July 8, 2013 2 comments

Image courtesy graur razvan ionut @ http://www.freedigitalphotos.netI was very flattered at the attention that my last post, Dementia and Suicide, garnered.  I did some more digging on the subject of dementia and depression, and was somewhat surprised at what I found.  Not only are persons with dementia at risk for becoming depressed, the reverse is also true.  Apparently, older adults who have depression are also at significant risk for developing certain kinds of dementia, according to an article found on line at the NY Times.

It has long been recognized that persons with dementia are at risk for developing serious depression.  Many, when first diagnosed and still in the early stages, become depressed when considering what lies ahead for them and for their families — especially if the onset comes at an early age.  But other factors can contribute as well, including social isolation, side effects of medications, and concurrent health problems.  But recently, researchers have discovered that persons with clinical depression are at significant risk for the physical and biochemical changes in the brain that lead to both Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.

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Skin Care For the Aging

April 8, 2013 1 comment

Image courtesy graur razvan ionut, http://www.freedigitalphotos.netIt’s not unusual for people who are advanced in years to develop skin that is quite fragile.  Some of the problems typically seen with aging skin include bruising, excoriation, fungal infection, and dry skin.  These problems are not at all unique to those who have dementia.  However, those who are cognitively impaired may forget how to take good care of aging skin, or may neglect environmental hazards that can cause injuries.  Or they may have difficulty completing more complex tasks related to skin care.

When our skin is young and healthy, we have a layer of fatty tissue under our skin that serves to protect the blood vessels from damage.  As we get older, however, this fatty layer often becomes thinner, leaving the person at risk for increased bruising from even a relatively light bump.  If the person is too thin, or is poorly nourished, this can make matters even more problematic.  Yet another factor to be considered here is that many people of this age group take medications to thin the blood, making them even more prone to bruising.  The areas most frequently affected by bruising are the arms and legs.  Here are some tips that can be of help for a person who is prone to, or at risk of, bruising:

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Dementia and the Flu

January 14, 2013 Leave a comment

I’ve been hearing a lot of news coverage lately about the latest outbreak of the flu in many parts of the U.S.  I am dealing with some potentially serious health concerns myself at the moment, so I was concerned to hear about the death of at least one person here in southwest Ohio from the flu.  But I’ve also been thinking a lot about how this flu outbreak could affect the aging population, as well as those with dementia.  I’ve heard a number of experts state their opinions that these people, among others, are at particular risk of catching the flu and of having serious health complications from it.

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