Cohasset Alzheimer’s Association Presentation on Dementia-Related Behaviors

February 2, 2017

Filed under: Alzheimer's,Caregiver Issues — Alexis @ 9:44 AM

This looks like a good presentation coming up soon in Cohasset. Presented by the Alzheimer’s Association, participants will learn how to “decode” what an Alzheimer’s patient is trying to express through their behavior. For example, someone lashing out verbally might be doing so because they are frustrated that they are cold but can’t find the words to say so. Come learn how to understand what a behavior is really saying and how to respond.

Event will take place on Wednesday, February 8 at the Cohasset Senior Center from 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. For more information and to register, click here.

South Shore Residents May Be Eligible for Alzheimer’s PET Scans (IDEAS)

January 24, 2017

Filed under: Alzheimer's,Medical Care — Alexis @ 1:33 PM

Beth Israel Deaconess-Plymouth is taking part in a study that uses PET scans to look for signs of Alzheimer’s. It is called the Imaging Dementia—Evidence for Amyloid Scanning (IDEAS) Study.

There are many different sources of dementia, for example Alzheimer’s, vascular, and frontal lobe. Knowing which type of dementia a person has can help patients and families know how to work with the changing mind and what to expect from the course of the disease over time.

Not everyone is eligible – this is a study, so there are various criteria that a person must meet. The PET scan is paid for by Medicare. If you or a loved one has dementia, talk to your doctor about whether you can participate in the study.

For more information, see this article.

Are You Caring for Someone Who Wanders?

December 22, 2016

CMS (the agency that manages Medicare and Medicaid) recently put out this interesting FAQ piece on wandering. The piece is aimed at managers of day programs and assisted livings, but there are a lot of useful nuggets in here for people who are caring for loved ones still at home who tend to wander.

Alzheimer’s 10th Annual Educational Conference and Caregiver Day

April 14, 2015

Filed under: Alzheimer's,Caregiver Issues — Alexis @ 11:03 AM

I will be on the afternoon panel of this day-long conference.  This year’s annual conference features the film “Alive Inside,” which shows how music can reach into the depths of our souls even when are minds betray us, and some speakers focusing on how to communicate with the person with demential emotionally.  The ever-popular Dr. Paul Raia from the Alzheimer’s Association will be the key speaker for the day.

At the end of the day, a panel will take questions from the audience.  It will be myself, Dr. Raia, Maureen Bradley, who is a nurse with the Royal Health Group, and Eve Montague, who is a music therapist with the South Shore Conservatory.

This event is sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Association, the Alzheimer’s Partnership of the South Shore, Partners Healthcare, and Linden Ponds.  So far 200 people have registered.  If you would like to join us, please do, it’s a very affordable all-day conference – just $40, including lunch.  It takes place at Linden Ponds in Hingham.

See here for more information and to RSVP.  Please note that there are several events listed on that page – be sure you are looking at the Caregiver Conference info.

See you there!

Big Step Forward for Alzheimer’s Care & Research

January 24, 2014

Filed under: Alzheimer's — Alexis @ 2:57 PM

On January 17, President Obama signed a funding bill containing what the Alzheimer’s Association calls “an unprecedented $122 million increase” for Alzheimer’s research, education, outreach, and caregiver support.

The specifics, as outlined in the Alzheimer’s Association press release, are as follows:

• A $100 million increase for the National Institute on Aging for Alzheimer’s research, which will be added to what the National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates will be $484 million in Alzheimer’s research funding across NIH in fiscal year 2013.
• A further $3.3 million has been provided to support Alzheimer’s caregivers.
• $4 million to train health professionals on issues related to Alzheimer’s disease.
• $10.5 million to expand the home and community based caregiver services.
• $4.2 million for outreach activities to raise awareness.
• The National Institutes of Health’s BRAIN Initiative will receive $30 million to support brain research that could impact several diseases, including Alzheimer’s.

This is an enormous step forward for families living with Alzheimer’s as well as for the future of Alzheimer’s care.

Read the full press release here.

Laughter & Music Can Be Better than Drugs for Dementia Patients

August 19, 2013

Filed under: Alzheimer's — Alexis @ 11:46 AM

There is a lot of movement right now in the US and around the world to move away from drug-dependency for keeping elder dementia in check. Well, here is a three-year study from Australia, with excellent news. Taken from the Sydney Morning Herald article:

“[The] nursing home participated in a three-year study that found weekly visits by clowns, plus the training of staff members to provide humour therapy, significantly reduced agitation among 180 residents in 17 nursing homes compared with a control group. The effect was similar to that of the average dose of risperidone, a drug used to reduce aggression and agitation among dementia patients, the Sydney Multisite Intervention of LaughterBosses and ElderClowns (SMILE) study found. It also avoided common side effects like stroke.”

Read the entire article here.

Department of Public Health Survey on Health Needs for People with Disabilities

May 20, 2013

This landed in my inbox. It took about 5 minutes to fill it out. Due date is May 31. Here are the details:

Help influence health care in Massachusetts! The Health and Disability Program, part of Office of Health Equity at the MA Department of Public Health (DPH) is conducting a health needs survey for people with disabilities in Massachusetts. The Office of Health Equity promotes the health and well being of minority populations, including people with disabilities throughout the Commonwealth. Results from the survey will be used to determine how best to address the current public health needs of the disability community. To that end, first, please take a few moments to complete the health needs survey yourself here.

DPH would like to get a broad range of respondents representing all the facets of the disability community, please forward the link to your friends and colleagues in the disability community and ask them to complete.

Who should complete this survey?

Residents of Massachusetts, over the age of 18 who have disabilities
Caregivers or guardians of adults or children with disabilities
Disability advocates
Staff at community based organizations or state or local government offices that serve people with disabilities
Academic researchers
Healthcare providers
Public health officials or professionals
Health and wellness promotion specialists
Health administrators
Health policy experts
We also invite participation by anyone else who has an interest in the health of people living with disabilities in Massachusetts. Please forward as soon as possible, as the survey link will only remain active until May 31, 2013. We look forward to hearing from you!

This is a voluntary and anonymous survey. The responses are compiled and we do not have knowledge of individual respondents.

Alzheimer’s Caregiver Conference Nov. 10

November 1, 2012

Filed under: Alzheimer's — Alexis @ 12:13 PM
This looks like a good conference for caregivers to learn, connect, share tips, and talk to other caregivers who “get it.”  This is a half-day conference in Concord, NH. 
Here is the registration link with more details.

Get the Right Diagnosis from a Neuropsychiatrist

February 14, 2012

Filed under: Alzheimer's — Tags: — Alexis @ 12:14 PM

We always hear the terms “dementia” or “Alzheimer’s”, but the fact is that there are many different types of dementias, each taking their own course over the lifetime, and each benefitting from different treatments.

If your loved one is confused or forgetful, etc., it is critical that you work with a neuropsychiatrist to nail down as best as you can the exact diagnosis. There are three major benefits to investing the time in finding a diagnosis:

1. You as a caregiver can learn how to modify your behavior to have the most positive interactions with your loved one;
2. You will know what to expect down the line; and
3. The doctor can prescribe the correct medications.

Typically the neuropsych will order an MRI. It takes time to come up with the right diagnosis, but the investment is well worth it.

Check out the Alzheimer’s Association at the Pru on December 10!

November 30, 2011

Filed under: Alzheimer's — Alexis @ 1:43 PM

Planning to be in town on Saturday night, December 10?  Check out the Pru – it will be lit up in purple!

Here is what I received from the Alzheimer’s Association:

This holiday season, The Shops at the Prudential Center and the Prudential Tower will shine a light on the Alzheimer’s Association during 31 Nights of Light. We invite you to join us on Saturday, December 10th as we “flip the switch” to light the top of Prudential Tower purple to honor the Alzheimer’s cause. Our light will be seen bymillions across Boston while reminding an entire city what the holidays are truly about…caring, sharing, family, and friends.

Join AlzTogether at 4:30 PM in the Center Court of the Shops at Prudential Center (near Club Monaco and to the left of the Customer Service Desk). We will “flip the switch” promptly at 5:00 PM followed by complimentary cookies and milk and the opportunity to mix and mingle with fellow Alzheimer’s Association supporters.Remember to wear purple!


This event is free, but registration is encouraged.

Visit to register now.


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