Gift Idea #1 For People With Dementia!

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Sometimes it is hard to know what to get someone suffering from Dementia as a Christmas gift. Whether they have mild cognitive impairment and can still manage at home, or they are in Assisted Living or Memory Care, I will be sharing gift ideas right up until December 20th. I will try to post five times a week. I can’t do weekends as I am working.

Not only do I work as a nurse on a Memory Care unit, but I also have a LO that we just had to admit to Assisted Living for her own health and safety. I have noticed that things that people bring their loved ones as a gift are not always appropriate for the cognitive level they are at. They may not enjoy the same things they used to either.

The first gift idea I want to start with is this Golden Retriever animated dog. We have two of these at my job and the ladies all love them. The gents don’t care so much, but every now and then one will pay it some attention. One of my family members just bought my LO one and I brought it to her today. At first, she was not super impressed and was very distracted by something else. Once I turned it on she came to life too. She really did love it and gave it a name. She used to have dogs of her own but forgot to buy them food, and feed them. This was actually more stressful to her than bringing her joy. This little dog is just cute, and cuddles, and she doesn’t have to worry about feeding or taking it to the potty. A win-win. Some people feel these are childish. You are entitled to your opinion, but honestly, it is about what helps them to relax and be happy, not your opinions. They do also have them in cats, and we have one of those at my workplace too, but most of the residents prefer the dogs.

This is not cheap and I would recommend anytime you buy your loved one with memory issues a gift, that you take a picture of it, keep the receipt, and write their name on it. Just trust me.

Let me know what you think in the comments.

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Memory Care Monday: Churlish!

Welcome to another Memory Care Monday post! Just a bit of housekeeping before I get to the word of the week.

Today is the first day of my November topic, Dementia. But, last month the topic was Obesity. I have been seeing some chatter about obesity being the main reason people were dying from Covid. You can’t really just go by what people say, though. This morning I read an article on Politico, and apparently, if you are Obese it does greatly increase your chance of dying from Covid. The article focused on how other countries, besides the USA, were taking this topic seriously and attempting to help their people eat better food options, and increase exercise. You can read the full article here.

Even though the Dementia topic is only for the month of November, I will continue the word of the week until all of the words have been shared. There are 100. Watch for some fun free printables for my newsletter subscribers that will help you remember and study the words as the list gets longer.

Churlish is the 12th word on the list. You can find the previous words in the archives.

I could tell you what churlish means, but I think you will have more fun watching the cute video below and then looking up the meaning. If you want to play along you can keep an online journal, or pen and paper, of all the words on the list. Look up the meaning, and use it in a sentence. Test yourself weekly to see how much you remember. If you don’t remember much, study first. A few other things you can do are find a synonym for the word, an antonym, write it into a joke, and write out the word and the meaning at least ten times while saying it out loud.

I will be trying to get the first printable done tomorrow, for my Wednesday newsletter. Otherwise, it will go out in a special newsletter. If you would like to work with me to learn ways to help your memory, use the contact form at the end of the post to send me an email. Exercise is a very important way to help improve memory. Learn about my Walking Buddy Plan.

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laugh out loud for brain health~

Welcome to Wellness Wednesday. Today, is the last post in my Brain Health series, and I think I saved the best for last. If you would like to know in advance what each month’s Health Topic, and Health Challenge will be, then be sure to join my Mailchimp mailing list below. I send a weekly newsletter with all kinds of good stuff. This post, and any of my posts, may contain affiliate links.

You probably have heard the saying, laughter is the best medicine. Well, apparently it is good for your brain health too. Of course it is hard to quantify what is funny and what isn’t, because we all have different opinions on what is funny. Some people find offensive things to be quite funny, while others find that material just offensive. Kids, pets, pranks, etc can be quite funny, and entertaining. Maybe you have a favorite sitcom that just brings you to tears. I personally love the Carol Burnett Show, especially when Tim Conway is on. There is even something called laughing yoga, and a study was done on that topic. Apparently it is being used with people with Dementia as it seems to help improve their wellbeing. Laughter can help with Depression, Pain, and other neurological disorders, though it is not completely certain why, and more tests definitely need to be done. But, in the end if laughter can help our Brain Health, just do it. There is a link below on some small studies done on laughter and Brain Health. Be sure to read it, it is very interesting. Some physicians are being encouraged to prescribe to their patients 30 minutes of laughing per week. I am not quite sure how they came to that particular dose, because I would think it should be every day.

Below, you will see some videos that hopefully will make you laugh out loud! One video is actually about how laughter works.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6125057/

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Be mindful of your brain: learn a new language

Hello, and welcome to Monday! These last 9 days in June will be dedicated to Brain Health. Dementia and Alzheimer’s are diseases of the brain. Along with general Brain Health I will focus on Dementia and Alzheimer’s as well. But for today’s post I am going to discuss Language Learning and how it can help improve Brain Health. You may see affiliate links in this post, or any of my posts.

Check out immunity with D3 nutristrips. No water needed.

First lets start with some basic definitions.

Dementia: a chronic or persistent disorder of the mental processes caused by brain disease or injury and marked by memory disorders, personality changes, and impaired reasoning,

Alzheimer’s: progressive mental deterioration that can occur in middle or old age, due to generalized degeneration of the brain. It is the most common cause of premature senility.

You will see I made that middle or old age in bold. You can get Alzheimer’s even in middle age that means 40-65! Keeping your brain healthy is vitally important!

Cognitive Decline: from the CDC, Subjective Cognitive Decline (SCD) is the self-reported experience of worsening or more frequent confusion or memory loss. 1,2. It is a form of cognitive impairment and one of the earliest noticeable symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

Even just learning new vocabulary can have a profound effect on Brain Health, but learning a second language is even better. You will find several videos below explaining how the brain functions when you are bilingual.

Here is a study for you to read.

For me I have dedicated, starting today, to learning Spanish. I do already know some basic words from when my kids were learning it. But, I never could speak full sentences. That is my goal! I have no idea how long it will take me, but I am almost 52, so it will be a bit. According to the video below, I think he said 30 weeks on average. So, maybe by next year this time, lol. I have downloaded an app called Mondly and it gives me daily lessons. If I find that too easy, ha ha, I have a workbook that I found on Amazon Kindle, and I have the Kindle Unlimited so I got it for free until I return it. Wish me luck!

Will you join in the brain challenge? What are you willing to commit to learn?

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balance for brain health!

Hello, and welcome to Wellness Wednesday! I was able to get my first dose of the Modern Covid Vaccine today! I am sleepy, but that is because I took Benadryl prior to receiving it and will probably take a nap after I finish this post. If you read one of my posts over a year ago I stated that I never get the Flu Vaccine. That is true, I do not get the regular Flu Vaccine. But, Covid is different and I felt like the risk of getting the disease for me with CKD was a much bigger risk than getting the vaccine. So, I got one.

Today, I want to discuss balance and brain health. Our brain is arguably one of the most important organs we have, along with heart, lungs and kidneys. I can remember way back in the day when we used to do real yearly physicals. The doctor, or nurse, would perform different balance and reflex tests on you. I don’t see this occur anymore. Now, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t but it is probably fairly rare. A simple balance test can give a doctor so much information about your brain health.

Can you stand on one leg for 20 seconds with your eyes open? What about with your eyes closed? Obviously, the option with closed eyes is much harder and most people will open their eyes after only a few seconds. Try them both ways, on each leg. What were your results? I could easily do it on my right leg, but my left leg, while I could still do it, it was much more difficult. I am right sided dominant so does that explain it? Maybe, but maybe not. Maybe I have mild blood flow insufficiency on the right side of my brain. This is something I will discuss with my Primary Care Doctor when I get to see her. I am 51 years of age and this is the age I want to start thinking about my Golden Years. Some studies are starting to show a correlation between these simple balance tests and blood vessel insufficiency to the brain. The tiny blood vessels in the brain become to buildup up plaques causing blood flow to decrease. The study states that after the balance test was performed and results recorded, each participant was given a MRI of the brain, a brain scan. The participants who could not do the 20 seconds had blood flow insufficiency in the small blood vessels of the brain, as evidenced on the MRI.

Now the researchers that performed this study admitted that they controlled for Blood Pressure or Heart Disease, but did not take into consideration participants history of previous falls or physical activity levels. Muscle weakness can increase falls and it can also lead to poor balance. There are also some other medical conditions that can effect balance, such as inner ear disorders. But, with that said this is a cheap method to see if there are possible issues going on in your brain, especially if you are over age 40. If you can not perform the balance test successfully speak with your doctor to see if more tests are needed to rule out blood flow insufficiency to the brain. This test does seem to be regularly used for the diagnosis of Parkinson’s which is a form of Dementia.

Regular exercise, a healthy diet, no smoking, controlling blood pressure, and controlling fat intake may all reduce the risk of insufficient blood flow to the brain.

You can read the article, here.

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Wellness Wednesday: Transfats and Alzheimer’s Disease

This week starts a whole series on Alzheimer’s Disease.  There is so much information to learn about Alzheimer’s prevention, risk factors, and care after getting the disease.  I read a new article just last week on Transfat and how studies are showing how it is linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s Disease.  The video below will start you thinking about it, and lead to more discussion next week.  Leave me questions in the comments if there is anything you want to know more about. Transfats are supposed to be outlawed in the US now, but there are some sneaky ways food processors can get it in.

A Health Coach can help you to learn about the prevention of Alzheimer’s.  To learn more use the contact form below to message me for a free health assessments with follow up conversation via email.

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Type 3 Diabetes

So, I talked about Type 1 Diabetes, and Type 2 Diabetes.  Did you know there is a possible Type 3 Diabetes?  In the quest for answers to the explosion of Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease, studies are starting to point to a type of Diabetes being the possible link to Dementia and Alzheimer’s.  Now as far as I know this is all kind of new.  I only just heard about it and I have worked in the Health Care Industry for 32 years.  It is kind of complicated, and the articles I read were not easy to follow along.  Instead, I chose to share two videos for you to watch.  Some of this information is why Doctors are always saying to reduce sugar consumption for everyone.  Sugar is literally in everything, just like Sodium, or so it seems.  It adds flavor and can be a preservative.

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Memory Care: Abjure

Updated 10/25/2021: OMG, I did not realize I started this blog at the end of 2018! As we get older our memories naturally start to decline.  With Dementia and Alzheimers on the rise, maintaining good memory skills is imperative.  I use this list, from Vocabulary.com, with my high school homeschooled children.  Not only is it good for them, but it is good for me to learn and retain new words.  Since they are in school they do more than 1 word a week, but for adults with much busier lives, 1 word a week is great.  Aids to help you remember the words are:  Keep a journal of all the words, there are 100 of them total, write the word, and definition 10 times, then read it back out loud 10 times. Use the word in a sentence, and write it in your journal.   Each week review the words from the previous week, saying them out loud 10 times each.  I will post a new word each week until all 100 are posted.  This is a great way to start off 2019.

The first word is Abjure.  Use any method you choose to look this word up.  Comment below if you are joining this challenge, and let me know how it is going.  I myself will follow along. According to vocabulary.com abjure means to formally reject something or disavow it.

If you would like to work more on improving your memory by using my health coaching services, please use the contact form at the end of this post to message me for a free meet and greet. Be sure and check out my Walking Buddy Plan, too.

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