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Dementia

  1. Can You Recommend Resources for an Alzheimer’s Support Group??

    Question:

    I attend a monthly Alzheimer's caregivers' support group meeting. We have been discussing topics like stress, frustration, etc.

    I suggested our group do a guided meditation some time. I was wondering if you thought the "Ease Grief" one would be appropriate for our group (all are caregivers of spouses or a parent, most local, some long distance (I am a long-distance caregiver)).

    I absolutely LOVE your guided meditation for chemo patients -- I used it religiously when I was in chemo back 2003--it really helped me. If you have another suggestion for our caregivers group, I would appreciate hearing what you have in mind.

    Thanks and regards,
    Lucy K.

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  2. Can Guided Imagery Help with Alzheimer’s?

    Question:

    Hello:
    Thank you for your work, I've been enjoying your guided imagery for years.

    Do you have a suggestion on guided imagery for someone with Alzheimers? My father is approaching the final stage. He has had an atypical journey so far. His sweet demeanor and patience have made the first stages less difficult than you read about in books and other people's accounts. It is still very difficult for him and my family, but he has not been violent or aggressive.

    Right now he is beginning to say no like a toddler and is getting more frustrated than he had been. He is also doing a lot of chattering at times. Whether this is simply talking to himself or existing on another plane or talking to hallucinations I don't know. (Nor do I have any judgment or fear around any of these possibilities.)

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  3. Yes, Virginia, Meditation Could Help Keep Dementia at Bay

    Researchers from the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California at Davis in Sacramento, California, investigated if and how meditation might preserve cognition and prevent dementia.
     
    Previous studies have indicated that meditation affects multiple pathways that play a role in brain aging and mental fitness. For example, meditation may reduce stress-induced cortisol secretion and this could have neuro-protective effects by elevating levels of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).
     
    Meditation may also potentially have beneficial effects on lipid profiles and lower oxidative stress, either of which could reduce the risk for cerebro-vascular disease and age-related neuro-degeneration.

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  4. Are There Any Tools for Profound Dementia?

    Question:  

    My father has suffered from dementia since 1999.  He no longer has clarity in his mind and does not recognize me or my brother.   He lives in a special care facility where he gets good care.

    The staff recently told me that he was becoming more agitated and sleepless during the night.  As a result, he is extremely tired and confused during the day.

    Any suggestions as to what kind of tools might help him, or will nothing reach him at this point?

    Thanks.  Arnold 

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  5. Can Cognitive Exercises Prevent the Onset of Dementia?

    Researchers from the University of New South Wales in Australia systematically reviewed results from clinical trials that examined whether cognitive exercises had any inoculative effect against the onset of dementia.

    Fifty-four studies were reviewed to identify randomized controlled trials that tested the effect of a discrete cognitive exercise program on neuropsychological performance over time in healthy older adults.

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  6. A Caregiver for Seniors Asks about Imagery for Her Client with Dementia

    A caregiver for seniors asks: My alert, very pleasant and remarkable 95-year-old client has been diagnosed with dementia and just had hip surgery. What guided imagery would you recommend I share with her?
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  7. Aromatherapy treatment for the management of agitation in severe dementia

    Researchers at Institute for Ageing and Health at Newcastle General Hospital in the U.K. conducted a placebo-controlled trial to determine the value of aromatherapy with essential oil of Melissa officinalis (lemon balm) for agitation in people with severe dementia. Seventy-two people residing in National Health Service (U.K.) care facilities who had clinically significant agitation associated with severe dementia were randomly assigned to aromatherapy with Melissa essential oil (N = 36) or placebo (sunflower oil) (N = 36).

    The active treatment or placebo oil was combined with a base lotion and applied to patients'' faces and arms twice a day by caregiving staff. Changes in clinically significant agitation (Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory [CMAI]) and quality of life indices (percentage of time spent socially withdrawn and percentage of time engaged in constructive activities, measured with Dementia Care Mapping) were compared between the 2 groups over a 4-week period of treatment.

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