Monthly Archives: November 2013

10 Ways Living with Alzheimer’s Disease Is Like Training for a Marathon

Below is a wonderful blog posting from the website The Dementia Queen.  This blog has a tremendous amount of useful information for those who are struggling with the issue of dementia. Please forward this blog posting and website to anyone you may know who is experiencing this fight.

I have been running for most of my adult life.  For all the physical benefits that come with pounding the pavement several hours a week, I find that the ability to push beyond my perceived limits is the most valuable element inherent in distance running.  In order to go the distance, my mental determination and focus need to be at least as durable as my physical strength.  In some cases, more so.

When I talk to my friends living with Alzheimer’s disease, I find myself repeating idioms and axioms prolific in the running world.  I repeat words of encouragement, about digging deep, about never giving up.  I remind myself of a coach, hoping to instill enough motivation to see the person through another challenge, up a big hill, or over another hurdle.  I remind them that this disease will require sustained effort to manage, and will deplete their reserves unless they are routinely replenished.

Some of my favorite running quotes that I sometimes share with my Alzheimer’s friends:

”Ask yourself:  ’Can I give more?’.  The answer is usually: ‘Yes’.”  – Paul Tergat, a professional marathoner from Kenya

“I had as many doubts as anyone else.  Standing on the starting line, we’re all cowards.”    -Alberto Salazar, three-time winner of the NYC marathon

“Mental will is a muscle that needs exercise, just like the muscles of the body.”
-Lynn Jennings

One caveat worth mentioning: For the 10 similarities listed below, there are thousands of ways that distance running and the Alzheimer’s journey differ- the most glaringly obvious being that marathon training is a choice.

No one ever chooses Alzheimer’s.

Here are 10 ways that the Alzheimer’s battle resembles marathon training: Click here to read the rest of the blog.

All For You Home Care |  www.allforyou-homecare.com

Home Sharing Becomes an Option for Seniors

By Vikki Ortiz Healy of the Chicago Tribune

The roommates share bathrooms and have each other’s shower times memorized. They fold each other’s laundry when someone leaves it in the dryer too long. They play cards together in the afternoon and watch “Dancing With the Stars” together at night.

And they ride along in the ambulance when one takes a bad fall.

It’s a living arrangement none of the seniors imagined for themselves when they were young, married and raising families in their own suburban homes. But time, age and circumstances led the five roommates — two men, three women ranging from 64 to 98 years old — to the red brick house in suburban Lombard, Ill.

There, next door to a young family with a swing set, and across the street from a high school, the seniors share a sprawling ranch as part of a Wheaton, Ill., non-profit organization’s mission to bring a unique housing option to the Chicago area’s elderly population, which is expected to double by 2040, officials said.

The number of people who are growing old in U.S. cities continues to rise. By 2030, one in five residents in the Atlanta region will be over 60, experts say. And according to the 2010 census, people ages 45 to 64 make up the fastest-growing segment in the region, showing the greatest percentage increase between 2000 and 2010.

For the last three decades, Wheaton-based Senior Home Sharing has placed seniors who are self-sufficient, but in search of company, into homes nestled on typical residential neighborhoods. What began as a one-house experiment in Lombard, Ill., has grown to include houses in Naperville, Downers Grove and Elmhurst, Ill., where the seniors get three prepared meals a day and medicine reminders from a live-in house manager. Click here to read on.

All For You Home Care |  www.allforyou-homecare.com

Can Diet Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease?

By Kristen Stewart from everydayhealth.com

Experts are studying how diet may affect the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Learn the latest research into this memory-robbing disease.

Little in life is as scary as the idea of forgetting our loved ones, our histories, and ourselves. Yet that is exactly what is happening to the more than 5 million people in North America suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

Mild forgetfulness in the early years of the disease slowly expands to include serious problems with memory, language, and abstract reasoning until eventually this brain disorder robs its victims of the ability to function.

Despite extensive research, both cause and cure for Alzheimer’s disease remain elusive. Experts theorize that a complicated combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors result in cognitive decline, though they are still working on exactly how it happens and what can be done to prevent it.

One logical area of exploration is diet. While there have been no definitive breakthroughs yet, there are certain foods that are being carefully studied for their specific relationship to Alzheimer’s.

Diet and Alzheimer’s Disease: Omega-3 Fatty Acids and B Vitamins

“A few studies found a correlation between high dietary fish with omega-3 fatty acid intake and a decrease in developing Alzheimer’s,” says Tara Harwood, registered dietitian at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. “However, more studies must be conducted before any conclusions can be drawn.”

High levels of homocysteine, an amino acid in the blood, have been associated with the risk of dementia. One avenue being examined is whether increasing intake of folate and vitamins B6 and B12, which break down homocysteine, can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. “Neither vitamin B6 or B12 supplementation has been proven effective,” says Harwood, “but data from one study found a lower incidence of Alzheimer’s for individuals with the highest folate intake.”  Click here to read on.

All For You Home Care |  www.allforyou-homecare.com

Social Security rising 1.5%

By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com

Social Security confirmed today that the average cost of living adjustment, or COLA, will be 1.5 percent in 2014 — one of the lowest increases since the program was first adjusted for inflation in 1975.

To put this in perspective: In 1987 and 1999, the COLA was only 1.3 percent. There was no adjustment in either 2010 or 2011. The largest adjustment was in July 1980, when inflation drove up benefits 14.3 percent.

The average Social Security payment for an individual will rise $19 a month from $1,275 to $1,294. The average couple will get $31 more, their benefit rising from $2,080 to $2,111.

In some years, the Social Security increase brought about by the COLA was eaten up by an increase in Medicare Part B, which automatically is subtracted from most people’s Social Security payments. In 2014, Medicare Part B, which covers doctor’s office visits, won’t rise from its current level of $104.90. That’s good retirement planning news.

If you are strictly on the paying end of this and not yet ready for retirement, maximum taxable earnings on which Social Security payroll taxes are levied will rise in 2014 to $117,000, up from $113,700 in 2013. To qualify for Social Security, you must work a total of 40 quarters, earning at least $1,200 a quarter in 2014, up from $1,160 in 2013.

If you are between 62 and full retirement age — 66 for people turning 62 in 2014 — and you continue to work while claiming, you will have to pay back a portion of your Social Security payments if you earn more than $15,480 in 2014. That’s up from $15,120 a year in 2013. The year that you reach full retirement age, you can earn as much as $41,400 without penalty, an increase of $1,320 from 2013.

The COLA also affects benefits for federal government retirees, disabled veterans and people who get Supplemental Security Income, the disability program for the poor. Click her to read on.

All For You Home Care |  www.allforyou-homecare.com