Articles

Exercise for a Healthy Brain

Senior Couple with Weights
Everyone knows how important it is to be physically active. Some of the many physical benefits of regular exercise include improved strength, flexibility, stamina, balance and coordination. Exercise can also help with managing weight and controlling risk factors for chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol and stroke. On the other hand, lack of activity can have serious negative consequences. In addition to an overall poorer sense of well-being, older adults who are ...
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Challenges with Challenging Behaviors  

Lonely senior man feeling very sad
By Galina Markovich Director, MMC Dementia care is becoming ever more needed in an increasing variety of settings including nursing homes, assisted living facilities, boarding homes, rehab centers and of course, in the homes of friends and neighbors. It is crucial to understand what the best care setting is for someone with behavioral dementia. In my support groups, I frequently meet caregivers who ask this very question. Many of them have already had experiences with facilities where it ...
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How Running Improves Memory Function

Couple Running with Dog
It is no secret that exercise has many benefits for both physical and mental well-being, and doctors have long been touting the value of aerobic exercise for both cardiovascular and brain health. Aerobic exercise has been shown to keep cognitive abilities from declining and reducing the risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Regular exercise is often credited with relieving stress, reducing risk of stroke, lowering blood sugar and improving balance and coordination. Scientists have also suggested that...
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Can Improving Hearing Impact Cognitive Health?

Woman and Hearing Aid
A slow loss of hearing ability is generally viewed as a normal and accepted part of aging. It is an unfortunate reality many of us will face as we get older. About two-thirds of Americans experience some hearing loss by the time they reach their 70s. It is perceived to be so inevitable that many do not seek any treatment or remedy for hearing loss. In fact, less than 15-20 percent of people diagnosed with hearing loss even use hearing aids. However, research is now increasingly pointing to li...
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Talking to Kids About a Dementia Diagnosis

Little boy telling a secret to his great grandmother
Dealing with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia is a challenge for both the patient and their loved ones. But even as you and your loved ones learn to come to terms with the diagnosis, don’t forget to keep the children in your life involved. While you may feel an impulse to protect children from the situation, trying to hide the truth could make things worse. Children are often keenly aware when adults around them are experiencing difficulty or stress. If they don’t understand the...
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Can Air Pollution Increase the Risk of Alzheimer’s?

Smokestacks
It is well understood that exposure to industrial pollutants can lead to a number of negative health effects, which can range from mild irritation to asthma and other more severe respiratory and cardiovascular issues. Now new research from the United Kingdom and Mexico has uncovered a possible link between neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and the presence in the brain of a magnetic iron oxide compound called magnetite. Magnetite, a common industrial air pollutant release...
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Caring for Alzheimer’s Caregivers

Senior and caregiver
It is no secret that the number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease is expected to rise along with the growing population of seniors. There are currently an estimated 5.4 million Americans with Alzheimer’s, a number expected to reach over 13 million by 2050. With more individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, there will also be increasing need for care. Discussions about Alzheimer’s disease usually focus on patients and their symptoms. But as the populat...
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Can Speaking a Second Language Protect Against Alzheimer’s?

Globe of all nations in hand
A recent study, “The impact of bilingualism on brain reserve and metabolic connectivity in Alzheimer’s dementia,” which appeared in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that speaking more than one language may protect the brain from Alzheimer’s disease. In the study, bilingual subjects performed significantly better on memory tests than their single-language peers, even though the bilingual subjects were on average five years older than the single-language part...
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Psychiatric Care or the Right Care?

young doctor comforting a sad senior man
By Galina Markovich Director, MMC In my 25 years of practice with geriatric populations suffering from dementia, I have learned that patience, proper timing of medications, close observation of immediate needs and an individualized approach are the keys to success in managing difficult cases of dementia. Families often ask me how we can manage 16 residents in one home, especially with so many having advanced dementia and exhibiting challenging behavior, when the family can’t even manage one ...
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Healthy, Easy and Pleasant: Tips for Maintaining Good Nutrition

Preparing Healthy Food
Good nutrition can be challenging for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Patients may lose track of mealtimes, skip meals or simply eat or drink less than they used to. They may forget how to use utensils, not recognize certain foods, have difficulty chewing and swallowing, or lose their appetites due to medications or diminishing enjoyment of food. Poor nutrition can lead to increased agitation, unhealthy weight loss, weakness, lowered immunity and dehydration. Making meals h...
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