Home Care Services Toronto & North York

Alzheimer’s Awareness Month in January

The month of January is dedicated to creating awareness and spreading useful facts and information about Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that is affects the elderly. In recognition of this campaign, we would like to some helpful facts about the brain and keeping it healthy. Connections Each time a new memory is created in our brain, new connections are created. This helps serve to keep the brain active. Research has shown that social activity is one of the best ways to make these new connections, and it also helps to prevent dementia. Staying involved in the community and keeping in touch with friends and family is a good way to achieve this. Hydration Did you know that the brain is made up of roughly 75% water? That is why it is extremely important to keep hydrated. Even moderate levels of dehydration can have an adverse effect on how your brain performs. You should try to drink approximately 2 litres of water a day to allow your mind and body to function at an optimal level. If that seems like too much and you find you are having to force yourself to drink that much water, you can spread it out over the course of the day. Have a glass when you wake up, keep water by your bed and your favorite chair, have water before or with meals, and carry a water bottle when you head outside. Another good beverage for keeping hydrated is herbal tea, especially when it is cold out. Proportions Even though the brain makes up only about 2% of the body’s...
Tracking Alzheimer’s and Dementia: Leave it to a Robot

Tracking Alzheimer’s and Dementia: Leave it to a Robot

    Artificial intelligence is leading the way in the need to better understand how Alzheimer’s and dementia patients are doing. Ludwig is his name and the two foot tall robot with spikey hair, a youthful face, space like outfit and chatty personality was designed specifically to talk to seniors every day to gauge their symptoms and if patients are starting develop forms of dementia or if those with it are getting any worse.   A University of Toronto research team has developed this ingenious, boyish looking robot that is currently going through a test run at a retirement home in the north end of the city. Basically, Ludwig engages in conversation with various residents and is able to interpret and analyse these conversations to help doctors and caregivers keep track of any changes in patient behaviour and demeanour.   Ludwig’s goal is to engage seniors in a friendly conversation in which he can assess any lengthy time gaps in a sentence or between words, whether verbs are mixed up, if there are changes in tone of voice or speech patterns and other minute changes that can happen but may not be immediately picked up by a human. The idea is that Ludwig can catch any of these cognitive and functional changes in ability early enough so that medical professionals can intervene and implement a new course of treatment. That may include something as simple as adjusting a patient’s medication or dosage or get then involved in some kind of activity to help strengthen areas of concern pinpointed by data Ludwig was able to capture during his social chats...
Attitude versus Forgetfulness: The New Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease

Attitude versus Forgetfulness: The New Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease

    We can all agree that Alzheimer’s and the debilitating effect it has on its sufferers is horrifying but one positive about the prevalence of the disease is that thousands of researchers around the world are working on treatments, prevention and ultimately a cure for the chronic neurodegenerative disease. With an estimated 564 thousand Canadians already afflicted with Alzheimer’s and about 25 thousand new cases being diagnosed each year, studies are being done all the time to better understand every facet of Alzheimer’s, from how it can start, who becomes ill with it and also what the precursors are for it.   Recently, researchers at the University of Calgary released a check list for doctors to follow to better detect if their patients might be in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. It’s basically a behavioural checklist for physicians to discuss with their patients because these Calgary scientists believe it is attitude changes, even subtle ones that are a clearer indicator of developing Alzheimer’s than being forgetful. That hypothesis in itself is a departure from the long held belief that losing grip on one’s memory is the first warning sign and that occasional changes in mood or attitude were just a natural part of the aging process. Mild Behavioural Impairment is what researchers hope will unlock our ability to better pinpoint and diagnose Alzheimer’s before it reaches a catastrophic stage. Mild Behavioural Impairment in simple terms is considered to be that grey zone in between typical signs of aging and developing dementia of some form. Neuropsychiatric symptoms have shown up with MBI and these University of Calgary researchers...
Home Care Services and the Stages of Alzheimer’s disease

Home Care Services and the Stages of Alzheimer’s disease

In many cases, home care is needed for care of a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease when safety of the loved one comes into question, and self-care abilities decline. The stages below provide an overall idea of how abilities change once symptoms appear, and should only be used as a general guide.   The stages are separated into three different categories: Mild or early Alzheimer’s disease, Moderate Alzheimer’s disease, and Severe or late Alzheimer’s disease. Be aware that it may be difficult to place a person with Alzheimer’s in a specific stage as stages may overlap. The stages of Alzheimer’s are helpful in finding the words to discuss Alzheimer’s. Caregivers find them particularly useful in support groups, as well as in conversations with doctors and other professionals. Mild or early stage Alzheimer’s In the early stages of Alzheimer’s, a person may function independently. He or she may still drive, work, and be part of social activities. In the early Alzheimer’s stage, people may experience: Memory loss for recent events,and repeatedly ask the same question. Difficulty with problem-solving, complex tasks and sound judgments.Planning a family event, keeping score in a game, or balancing a chequebook may become overwhelming. Changes in personality.People may become subdued or withdrawn — especially in socially challenging situations — or show uncharacteristic irritability or anger. Decreased attention span and reduced motivation to complete tasks also are common. Difficulty organizing and expressing thoughts. Getting lost or misplacing belongings. Confusion of where things belong is possible (e.g. may put a towel in the fridge) Early stage Alzheimer’s and home care services Families with loved ones in early stage Alzheimer’s...
The stages of Alzheimer’s Disease, and how they relate to homecare

The stages of Alzheimer’s Disease, and how they relate to homecare

In discussing the stages of Alzheimer’s disease, we want to first say that Alzheimer’s disease is a terrible affliction, one that takes a heavy toll on families and their caregivers. As a home care company in Toronto, we are very familiar with Alzheimer’s disease, and how difficult it is for families to endure. Awareness of and decreasing the risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease is a great way to delay onset or reduce probability of developing the disease. Changes in the brain related to Alzheimer’s begin years before any signs of the disease. This time period, which can last for years, is referred to as preclinical Alzheimer’s disease. Although the person is unaware of changes during the preclinical phase, new imaging technologies can now identify deposits of amyloid beta that are thought to cause the disease. The stages below provide an overall idea of how abilities change once symptoms appear, and should only be used as a general guide. They are separated into three different categories: Mild or early Alzheimer’s disease, Moderate Alzheimer’s disease, and Severe or late Alzheimer’s disease. Be aware that it may be difficult to place a person with Alzheimer’s in a specific stage as stages may overlap. The stages of Alzheimer’s are helpful in finding the words to discuss Alzheimer’s. Caregivers find them particularly useful in support groups, as well as in conversations with doctors and other professionals. Mild or early stage Alzheimer’s In the early stages of Alzheimer’s, a person may function independently. He or she may still drive, work, and be part of social activities. In the early stages, a neurologist can diagnose Alzheimer’s disease,...
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