New Study Shows That Failing to Identify Smells Could Be a Sign of Developing Alzheimer’s

Being aware of your elderly loved one’s propensity to develop Alzheimer’s is something that many people in the sandwich generation are concerned about. There are many different symptoms that indicate that your loved one could be experiencing cognitive decline and your ability to react quickly could get them the medical treatment they need to help make their life easier.ThinkstockPhotos-514854280

It can be extremely challenging to notice an elderly loved one who is suddenly unable to care for himself or herself but this is why it is so critical that your loved one have estate planning documents in place such that he or she has the potential to protect his or her interests and carry out his or her wishes.

It can be extremely difficult for adult children to realize that a loved one is developing Alzheimer’s but being aware of the potential symptoms can alert you to a problem and allow you to get medical treatment sooner rather than later. Alzheimers’ is affecting a growing proportion of the population across the country today and it makes it all the more important to handle situations like this with care.
If you think that you have a family member developing Alzheimers’, getting help from an experienced lawyer should be your first course of action. Getting legal documents in place now with the help of an estate planning attorney can protect your loved one if the situation starts to get worse.
 

Growing Dilemma: Financial Advice For Those With Dementia

Senior woman with her caregiver

Senior woman with her caregiver

Both government regulators and financial advisors are facing a growing dilemma: what to do for and about people with memory loss.
Sometimes, according to a recent American Association of Retired Persons online article, it is a person at a financial firm who first notices signs of dementia in clients, but that doesn’t mean there are rules and procedures in place for dealing with such a situation.
“Regulators and financial firms are starting to tackle the issue of serving clients with diminished mental capacity, something not covered under federal regulations and addressed by only a few states,” according to the story . “Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, now affects 5.1 million Americans 65 and older, a number that’s expected to nearly triple by mid-century, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Already, financial advisers typically serve at least seven clients with Alzheimer’s or other dementia, according to a 2012 study by Cerulli Associates.
“Current regulations require advisers to protect a customer’s privacy and promptly execute orders, even if they’re imprudent. Advisers worry that by following the rules, they could later be sued by, say, the customer’s family, claiming the client didn’t have the capacity to make financial decisions.”
“The most important warning sign is a change in the person’s risk preferences and choices regarding how to invest money,” Daniel Marson, a neuropsychologist and director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Center at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, was quoted as saying. “They are interested in get-rich-quick schemes that they wouldn’t have paid attention to 10 or 15 years earlier.”
“The prospect that someone with a cognitive disorder might quickly deplete a nest egg or fall victim to a scam is why regulators, financial institutions and consumer advocates are trying to get ahead of the problem,” the story continues.
“The silver tsunami is upon us, and it will continue for the next 15 years, according to Lynne Egan, chairwoman of the senior issues and diminished capacity committee for the North American Securities Administrators Association. “We will see a large portion of our population turn 65.
“One-third of those people will have some diminished capacity, mostly related to general aging, but some will be as a result of dementia.”

Industrial Designer Found Way To Help Grandmother

A San Francisco-area industrial designer whose grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease did something rather remarkable.
Sha Yao, who attended the Academy of Art University, created Eatwell, which an article on the website mentalfloss described as “a seven-piece tableware set with 20 unique features specifically designed to meet the needs of those with physical, motor, and cognitive impairments.”

Lunch at the Nursing Home

Lunch at the Nursing Home

“Yao exceeded her fundraising goal on Indiegogo last year and her designs won the top prize at the 2014 Stanford Design Challenge,” continues  “The set has bright, primary colors, which Yao chose because of a Boston University study that found that individuals with cognitive impairment consumed 24 percent more food and 84 percent more liquid when they were in brightly-colored containers.
“Other features include bowls and cups with angled bases, allowing contents to naturally fall to one side, making them easier to scoop and drink, as well as ergonomically-designed spoons whose curvature aligns with the contours of the bowls. There are also holes with flaps at the edge of the tray where an apron, bib, or napkin can be tucked to prevent spill damage, plus wide-base drink ware that’s difficult to topple.”
“Raising awareness and addressing the needs of people with impairments will allow them to maintain their dignity, retain as much independence as possible, and reduce the burden on their caretakers,” Sha Yao told Fast Company magazine. “That’s what made designing the Eatwell tableware set so rewarding.”
More information is available at http://www.eatwellset.com/#!features/cf1a.

Early Planning Permits Those With Dementia To State Wishes

Grown Up Son Consoling Senior Parent

Grown Up Son Consoling Senior Parent

It must be grim, but it also must be done.
For people who fear they are experiencing the first signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, making legal plans is essential, because anytime now may be too late, according to the website alz.org.
“It’s important for everyone to plan for the future, but legal plans are especially important for a person with Alzheimer’s disease,” according to an article on the site.  “The sooner planning starts, the more the person with dementia may be able to participate.
“Early planning allows the person with dementia to be involved and express his or her wishes for future care and decisions. This eliminates guesswork for families, and allows for the person with dementia to designate decision makers on his or her behalf. Early planning also allows time to work through the complex legal and financial issues that are involved in long-term care.”
This legal planning, the site adds, should include:

  • Making plans for health care and long-term care
  • Making plans for finances and property
  • Naming another person to make decisions on behalf of the person with dementia
  • Legal capacity

That last aspect is defined in the alz.org article as “the ability to understand and appreciate the consequences of one’s actions and to make rational decisions.”
“In most cases, if a person with dementia is able to understand the meaning and importance of a given legal document, he or she likely has the legal capacity to execute, to carry out by signing it. The requirements of legal capacity can vary from one document to another. A lawyer can help determine what level of legal capacity is required for a person to sign a particular document.”

Numbers compiled on Alzheimer’s sobering, frightening

The statistics, as statistics so often can be, are startling.

According to a report at entitled “Alzheimer’s in America,” the following are the frightening facts:

  • One in nine Americans over 65 has Alzheimer’s disease. (Alzheimer’s Association)
  • When the first wave of baby boomers reached age 85 in 2031, it was projected that more than 3 million people age 85 and older will have Alzheimer’s. (Alzheimer’s Association)
  • One-third of Americans over age 85 are afflicted with the illness. (Alzheimer’s Association)
  • 3 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. (Alzheimer’s Association)
  • Unless a cure is found, more than 16 million Americans will have the disease by 2050. (Alzheimer’s Association)
  • Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in America. (Centers for Disease Control)
  • One in three seniors die with Alzheimer’s or another kind of dementia. (Centers for Disease Control)
  • Typical life expectancy after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis is four to eight years. (Alzheimer’s Association)
  • In 2014, the 85-years-and-older population includes about 2 million people with Alzheimer’s disease, or 40 percent of all people with Alzheimer’s age 65 and older. (Alzheimer’s Association)
  • By 2050, there could be as many as 7 million people age 85 and older with Alzheimer’s disease, accounting for half of all people 65 and older with Alzheimer’s. (Alzheimer’s Association)

British Youth’s Test Could Detect Alzheimer’s Long Before Symptoms

Respect

Respect

That’s one smart young man.
“A 15-year-old British boy has developed a potential test for Alzheimer’s disease which could allow the condition to be diagnosed 10 years before the first symptoms appear,” according to a recent story in The Daily Telegraph newspaper of London.
The disease, the story by science editor Sarah Knapton points out, can currently be detected only “through a series of cognitive tests or by looking at the brain after death.”
“But Krtin Nithiyanandam, of Epsom, Surrey, has developed a ‘Trojan horse’ antibody which can penetrate the brain and attach to neurotoxic proteins which are present in the very first stages of the disease. The antibodies, which would be injected into the bloodstream are also attached to fluorescent particles which can then be picked up on a brain scan.”
“The main benefits of my test are that it could be used to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease before symptoms start to show by focusing on pathophysiological changes, some of which can occur a decade before symptoms are prevalent,” Krtin told the paper. “This early diagnosis could help families prepare for the future and ensure that existing drugs are used to better effect.
“Another benefit is that due to the conjugated fluorescent nanoparticles, my diagnostic-probe can be used to image Alzheimer’s disease non-invasively.”
Krtin moved to Britain from India with his family when he was a baby, according to the story. He suffered from hearing problems as a child and wants to study medicine when he leaves school.
“I have personally seen what a difference it can make to people’s lives and I want to make a difference to the lives of others,” he was quoted as saying.