Archive for Dementia

Think Your Parent Has Dementia (Therapist Shares What To Do)

Think your parent has dementia?

If you’re worried about your mum or dad’s cognitive decline and are trying to figure out how to talk to your parent about their potential dementia signs – well, it can be an emotional minefield ( for both people).

It doesn’t need to be this way and we’d like to help you.

No doubt, it can be filled with what-ifs, should I, worry, fear, anxiety and heartache. 

Seeing the changes in a person who has been a figure in your life can be challenging. 

Talking about it perhaps even harder.

But does this concern get in the way of a great conversation, positive actions, a safer life path or achieving a greater quality of life? 

An early conversation about dementia signs can lead to early intervention where it may not be dementia at all.

Yep, it can be hard.

This guide is written by a senior therapist, David Norris, to support you if you think your parent has dementia. It serves you so you can talk with your parent about their memory changes, potential signs of dementia and what to do about them.… .. Click here to read the rest

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Assistive Technology For Memory Loss

Assistive Technology For Memory Loss

What’s The Best Assistive Technology For Memory Loss?

Finding the best assistive technology for memory loss is a key area to get right. Why? Memory loss erodes confidence and can rob you of an independent life. 

The problem is, there is so much choice that many people make costly mistakes.

This article is to help you avoid these pitfalls because life is too precious to forget.  

Fortunately, there are assistive technology (AT) devices available which can help compensate for diminished brain function.

This can be of hope to people who want to improve their lives when living with dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, a brain injury, Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis or the impact of heart conditions or heart failure, cancer or kidney failure.

Yes, all these health scenarios PLUS more can impact on your memory performance.

Having the right assistive technology for memory loss can be the difference in living an independent life or not.

Occupational Therapy Brisbane

In this article we cover:

.. Click here to read the rest
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How To Improve Dementia Care Management

How To Improve Dementia Care Management; Let’s Start With The Care Givers

At the time of writing this post, the Australian Government has announced a Royal Commission into Aged Care, no matter where you see this announcement politically, it represents an opportunity to improve dementia care management.

For many people living with dementia, they don’t reside in an Aged Care Facility but in the home, often with family and loved ones supporting them, stride by stride as the condition plays out for that family unit.

Dementia, isn’t just an experience of memory loss, but a host of symptoms which may commonly impact behaviour. A change in behaviour can be a significant challenges and a source of stress for the family and carers.

Behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) are often considered to be the greatest challenge in dementia care, leading to increased healthcare costs, caregiver burden, and placement into care facilities. For family at home carers, there’s a reported increase in stress and depression and reduce overall quality of life.

The host of medications that a person may take as a result include anti-psychotic, antidepressants, mood stabilizer, sleep or sedative medication.… .. Click here to read the rest

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Alzheimer’s Disease vs Dementia: What’s The Difference?


Alzheimer’s Disease vs Dementia: What’s The Difference?

Is there really anything different, what should your know about Alzheimer’s Disease Vs Dementia?

The terms “Alzheimer’s Disease” and “dementia” are often used interchangeably. But the truth is that while there are some similarities, the terms can refer to different conditions and symptoms.

Up front, Dementia is a syndrome, not a disease. 

Dementia is a group of symptoms which affects your brain’s performance for skills such as memory and problem solving.

Dementia is an wide-umbrella term which includes Alzheimer’s disease  falls under.

Dementia can occur due to a variety of conditions, the most common of which is Alzheimer’s disease.

A Video To Explain Alzheimer’s Disease Vs Dementia

A video published by the Trinity College Dublin compares the two, equating the difference as being similar to the comparison of asthma (Alzheimer’s disease) to shortness of breath (dementia).

Shortness of breath can be the result of a variety of factors, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Low blood pressure
  • Allergies
  • Heart problems (such as heart arrhythmias and pericarditis)

One of the underlying causes of dementia can also be Alzheimer’s disease,  Parkinson’s disease, vascular disease, stroke, infections etc.… .. Click here to read the rest

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Robots and Zippers We Never Thought We’d See This

Robots and Zippers? We Never Thought We’d See This!

Robots and Zippers? Is there a robot for every task imaginable nowadays? Well maybe not quite (yet), but this Cool Zipper Robot which zips up and down has grabbed our attention.

For many of our clients, the day to day frustrations on managing buttons can be like climbing Mt Everest. A task once so ingrained in our neuro-motor performance has now become so darn hard and frustrating to say the least!

We saw this project pop up on our radar and it hit the “wow, this is sooo helpful” button that we had to share.

The project is by  Haresh Karnan’s zipper robot, who is a roboticist, engineer and programmer .

In 2017 Karnan designed the 3D-printed shell with two geared motors for traction, which can both undo and do up zippers. The name from our perspective says it all: Cool Zipper Robot.  What’s even better is the fact that on Karnan’s website you can access the “design how to guide”

Robots and Zippers Here’s a video of  it in action

It’s clear there is alot of R&D ahead as to how this can be brought to the market place.… .. Click here to read the rest

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MIND Diet May Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

The “MIND” diet for Alzheimer’s prevention offers new insight into the disease management.

Did you know that the foods you eat may have an impact on your chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease?

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” ― Hippocrates

Evidence found in a study published in the journal “Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association” showed that individuals who consume what is known as the MIND diet (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) could substantially reduce their risk of having Alzheimer’s Disease in the future – and you do not even need to strictly follow the diet to reap its benefits.

In this one particular study from Rush University published in 2015, it was found that participants who rigorously adhered to the MIND diet had a 53 percent lessened risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Those who followed it “moderately well” reduced their risk by 35 percent.

Another study  involving over 7,000 women for a period of 10 years measured the effectiveness of the MIND diet. Participants who closely followed the diet guidelines were 34 percent less likely to develop the disease than women who did not.… .. Click here to read the rest

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How to choose the right dementia care technology

How To Choose The Right Dementia Care Technology For Your Situation

Having clarity about a dementia care technology’s potential to assist a person living with dementia is an issue that many carers and team managers are desperately trying to resolve. So before you put your hands in your pocket consider these features and functions.

To help you out we’ve compiled a list of features, functions and considerations. It’s a framework to help guide your decision making so that in the end you’re clear about the pros and cons of your investment.

Start With The User In Mind

Firstly what is the goal you’re trying to achieve? Does the tool meet this goal? If not it’s probably not a good fit for you and your situation.

Other Aspects To Consider

  • Personalise: Can the aid be personalised to be connected with the user
  • Accessible: Is it freely accessible in the environment for self use
  • Ease Of Use / Intuitive Use: Is it easily navigated, easy to use
  • Familiar Design / Form: This is distinct to the ease of use.
.. Click here to read the rest
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What Exercises Can Help People Living With Dementia

What Exercises Can Help People Living With Dementia

A research partnership has found how integrating physical, emotional and cognitive health program can help people living with dementia.

It’s unknown whether holistic exercise for people with dementia could have psychological and physical benefits, as there is a lack of research on the experience of this type of exercise.

The research team involving partners from Teesside University and  Alzheimer’s Society (UK) assessed The Happy Antics Program, a holistic exercise program which integrates physical movements with activities taking into account the emotional, intellectual, social, and spiritual health of people living with dementia.

What Was The Holistic Exercise Program For People Living With Dementia

Here is what they did.

Each session began with a short cognitive exercise.

Participants were shown a picture of an object and the group leader spoke briefly about it the object. Participants were encouraged to

  • discuss the object
  • ask questions about the object
  • Explore their relationship or experiences with the object

Following the cognitive exercise,  warm-up exercises were completed and followed later by more physically intensive exercises.… .. Click here to read the rest

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What is a Neurocognitive Disorder?

What is a neurocognitive disorder

What is a Neurocognitive Disorder?

A New Diagnostic Language Change Means Dementia Is No More.

A new diagnostic criteria for dementia have recently been published in the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders, Volume 5 (DSM-5).

The significant change is Dementia has been newly named major neurocognitive disorder (NCD) in the DSM-5.

According to Fighting Dementia,

these revisions incorporate the scientific knowledge and technological advances gained in recent times and reflect the current state of understanding regarding the detection and diagnosis of dementia and related disorders characterised by cognitive impairment.

The aim of the reclassification is to:

  • reduce stigma associated with dementia
  • bring diagnostic guidelines into line with current clinical practice. An attention has been applied to early stages of cognitive changes.

What is a  Neurocognitive Disorder (NCD)  and how does it translate to established terms?

Mild NCD is equivalent to mild cognitive impairment and to prodormal dementia. Where as major NCD is equivalent to dementia. are characterised by cognitive impairment as the. most prominent and defining feature of the condition.

“NCDs are characterised by cognitive impairment as the most prominent and defining feature of the condition.
.. Click here to read the rest
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Managing Behaviours In Dementia

Managing Behaviours In Dementia: How Well Designed Activity Technology Can Help.

It’s a common experience for people living with dementia in an aged care facility are likely to be under stimulated, disengaged from meaningful tasks and socially isolated.

In our clinical experience we see this occurring in the home as well.  Commonly to a lesser degree but you’d appreciate there is also a reduction in doing activities  as well as sustaining social connections.

The Evidence For Managing Behaviours In Dementia

There is sound evidence to support the use of targeted, personalised activities such as music, art,  exercise and occupational therapy. However, these programs are often expensive and resource intensive to implement and only cover a small percentage of the day.

The result is short spikes of quality activity engagement then long periods of isolation and activity dislocation. Social isolation and boredom combined with unfamiliarity with context, people or environments may lead to reactive behaviours such as hitting, biting, yelling.

So what you have is good evidence to support the use of therapeutic activities, but to get effective programs in place has a high price tag.… .. Click here to read the rest

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