Health
December 12, 2019
link to facebook link to twitter
More Stories
Understanding senior care options Controlling your holidays Your best Christmas gift? The state of Alzheimer’s and caregiving in the U.S. When hard things happen Giving thanks The spirit of Alzheimer’s learning Part II Simple happiness hacks for caregivers Halloween pirate’s gold Fall risks are sometimes simple, yet fatal Is multi-generational living for you? Oral piercings and your teeth Natural disaster threats call for preparedness plan to protect seniors The spirit of Alzheimer’s learning  Winter sun safety: What to know about protecting yourself during colder months Tending to spiritual distress with aging and illness Blood pressure control a focus of American Heart month Home your own way March is colorectal cancer awareness month Safety at home for seniors Prepareness plan to protect seniors By this time you have learned... whether you’re 14 or 84… How to prevent bad breath War on opioids in California Help families make time for seniors during the holiday season Helping seniors with vision and hearing impairments Holiday stress-busters for harried caregivers It’s what’s inside that counts! Dental emergencies Don’t wait until it hurts! Does spring mean allergy season for you? Top 10 products to help seniors stay home How to take Tylenol safely The role companionship plays in aging 7 Tips to reduce the stress of incontinence caregiving Five best pet types for seniors Time for the yearly flu vaccine Entitlements - more money Improving the state of aging in America Fight flu this season by getting immunized Confirm your preparedness plans for Seniors Did you get your flu shot? If not why not? A message from the heart Using anxiety to your advantage Youth, women and dementia The long-reaching impact of dementia Children’s dental health month Ten tips for healthy aging Planning for aging at home Thirty-four years as a dentist Tooth friendly Easter tips Feeding my hungry heart How to keep older adults cool during the heat of the day Invisible braces work wonders Prosthetic joints and dentistry Avoiding spooky smiles this Halloween How to keep an aging adult’s blood pressure in the green zone Mother's gum disease linked to infant’s death Senate passes Alzheimer’s and dementia research funding October’s most celebrated event Our Feelings Come From Our Beliefs Making sense of the season for seniors Cultures differ on what makes a beautiful smile! How to have a better year Falling in love is easy, but staying in love is very special A confession Women in dentistry Plan for where you want to age Three ways a senior can fund a home remodel Cannabis as medicine-Changing the face of aging May is skin cancer awareness month A brain is a reason to join the Alzheimer’s fight Recognizing and reporting elder abuse Dental technology- computers have changed our lives Create your personal Medicare account Two ways to get your Medicare taken care of Are you stressed out? Seven ways seniors can interact with pets The joy of root canal therapy Lung cancer screening helps combat the #1 cancer killer in the nation How to know if you are in danger of compression fractures Psychology Today The Art of Resilience: I Have I Am…I Can The advantage of dental implants Too much of a good thing for seniors and the holidays What families’ caregivers need to know about Recommendations for screen time Resolutions for your oral health Super Bowl, Joe Montana and blood pressure Open heart surgery – Thoughts from the other side Chewing gum - Helpful or harmful? Five tips for a healthy smile I will– I should– I can– I’ll try Rightsizing for seniors doesn’t have to be painful The Joy of Sadness Human Touch: The role companionship plays in aging at home Becoming who we really want to be How to fail well Back to school with healthy teeth Five ways to manage caregiver guilt Senior dating – Mom’s new relationship is heating up... Should you be concerned? Aspirin relieves mild pain Fighting osteoporosis and preventing fall-related injuries Pets and seniors make the perfect pair Turn the page Anxiety: The real reason Mom won’t leave the house My prostate and thyroid cancer Un-retiring in a changing economy Coping with the unpredictable life of caregiving Double duty tools: toothbrush and floss Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Tips for living with low vision  Keep your Medicare costs down The freedom and choice to again place at home Put dementia on the agenda for 2019 Free app shows what Medicare covers The reason “Four” is the magic number? Preventing tooth decay in children Laughter is the best medicine Sports mouth guards-keeping teeth safe  Help your senior loved one avoid preventable hospitalizations Tips for keeping calm in the midst of crisis  Five cybersecurity tips for older adults Preparing kids for first dental visits Dental treatment concerns with patients taking blood thinners Home Health Care vs. In-Home Care: What you need to know Three ways to lessen negative thinking Five ways our self-talk may be hurtful Is this Summer or Fall What can you do to help dad control his blood pressure? Amazing results with Arestin Navigating the aging journey Smoke and stress maintenance and recovery How to lower your surgery costs Know your pharmacist… Know your medicine as drug prices will jump in 2019 Influenza activity is increasing throughout California Show your kids’ teeth some love this Valentine’s Day! New life and stormy weather Your Medicare rights and protections Summer snacking and your child’s teeth Back to basics 10 summertime activities for seniors Three ways to boost your self-esteem Increasing West Nile Virus activity in Ca. Why are seniors targets for scams? Summer’s sun damages the skin Abscess gives warning 8 tips to minimize the behaviors of “Sundowning” Keeping your relationships fresh What are dental sealants? Suicide - Are there answers? Nothing is impossible Becoming optimistic in a chaotic world Healthy eating habits can benefit you and your teeth How does the body heal? Apply or renew Covered Ca. Health insurance by Jan. 15 Guilt from holiday eating Toothbrush tips Three reasons for a root canal Seniors: Say no to “free” genetic tests Yoga for relaxation & healing What causes sensitive teeth to hurt All of us make mistakes  Heat and older adults Five tips to cope with caregiver anger Back to school health Real decisions and moderation Three gifts you can give yourself Don’t stress, clench or grind! Gratitude and positivity can inspire caregiver self-care Medicare helps seniors use opioids safely Is it elder abuse or neglect? Dental scanning technology improves dental care Using Medicare when on foreign land I slept in last Saturday! Always being bright may not be so bright Trying to save a knocked out permanent tooth What happens to our teeth and gums as we age? Reduce wear and tear As Autumn begins, a reminder flu season can hit seniors hard Overcoming fears surrounding End-of-Life care Important: women and periodontal health Americans unaware of potentially life-threatening skin cancer Sun protection tips for young children Cannabis symposium Sept. 19th The importance of immunization Returning home is bittersweet Osteoporosis, osteonecrosis and dental health Living with Lupus Erythematosus How dentistry handles gastric reflux disease Use it or lose it- Muscle mass as you age  A free cheek swab test Twice a victim Finding a path forward after an accident Use it or lose it- Muscle mass as you age  If it is not broken, don’t fix it! Managing your mental health with or without insurance coverage Why gardening is the most recommended exercise for seniors

Understanding the aging brain

By: Julie Ann Soukoulis
September 6, 2019

The brain is a complex organ, and like the rest of our bodily organs, it ages over time. When working with aging adults and their families, it is important to understand the basics of brain aging. This can be especially helpful in distinguishing normal brain aging verses abnormal signs of aging.

Over time, researchers have learned that the human brain maintains plasticity into the advanced years. Brain plasticity refers to the brain’s ability to learn new things, adapt to changes, grow new connections and repair broken ones.

Older adults may notice changes, but not all of the changes are of concern. It is normal to have some cognitive decline with age, including changes in the speed of thinking, the ability to control attention, trouble multitasking and occasional forgetfulness. Abnormal brain aging on the other hand, includes declines in cognition that are more severe. These changes may include a reduced ability to solve common problems, difficulty expressing oneself in conversation or behaving outside of social norms. Other early signs and symptoms of abnormal brain aging are listed below.

Signs and symptoms of abnormal brain aging:

• Getting lost in familiar places

• Repetitive questioning

• Odd or inappropriate behaviors

• Forgetfulness of recent events

• Repeated falls or loss of balance

• Personality changes

• Decline in planning and organization

• Changes in diet/eating habits

• Changes in hygiene

• Increased apathy

Changes in language abilities, including comprehension

These abnormalities in brain aging are pathological in nature and can lead to an aging brain disease or neurological disorders.

Below are some of the most common aging brain disease.

• Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)

• Dementia

• Alzheimer's disease

• Frontotemporal dementia

• Vascular dementia

• Lewy Body dementia

• Parkinson's disease

While there is no cure or ways to prevent these diseases, there are ways individuals can reduce their risk of developing cognitive impairment. It is never too early to engage in risk reduction brain health habits. Research is revealing that some of these aging brain diseases, like Alzheimer’s disease, can start to develop years and even decades before symptoms are noticeable. Ways to reduce the risk of aging brain diseases are listed below.

12 Tips for a healthy brain to reduce risk of aging brain diseases:

• Keep up with regular doctor visits

• Manage chronic conditions

• Exercise regularly

• Develop healthy sleep hygiene

• Eat a balanced diet (MIND diet or Mediterranean Diet)

• Engage the brain

• Socialize

• Protect the head

• Reduce stress

• Seek treatment for mental health issues

• Stay away from (or quit) smoking

• Limit alcohol intake

One fun and easy way to start developing healthy habits is to sign up for the 30 day brain health challenge at: www.bebrainpowerful.org  You can also find more brain health related resources through  Women’s Brain Health Initiative located atwww.womensbrainhealth.org

If you are interested in a deeper dive on the aging brain, watch this two-part webinar series and even earn a free Continuing Education (CE) credit*

Simply register online at  www.caregiverstress.com to find the two-part series titled

The Aging Brain: Brain Basics

The Aging Brain: Aging Brain Diseases

For additional information about brain health visit https://healthybrains.org/ or brainhealth.gov.

For more Alzheimer’s and dementia caregiving tips and support, visit www.HelpForAlzheimersFamilies.com To learn more about how home care services can assist those with Alzheimer’s or other aging brain diseases feel free to phone my office, we can help you navigate this option. Home Instead is here to offer education free of charge. It is our way to support our community in their efforts to best navigate memory care.

*CE credits are only available for 60 days following the live webinar event.

 

Julie Ann Soukoulis is the owner of Home Instead Senior care office in Rohnert Park, mother of two and passionate about healthy living at all ages. Having cared for her own two parents, she understands your struggles and aims, through her website, www.homeinstead.com/sonoma to educate and encourage seniors & caregivers. Have a caregiving or aging concern?  She’d love to hear from you at 586-1516 anytime.