August 3rd, 2017 Newsletter
August 3rd, 2017 Newsletter
August 3, 2017
Good morning and welcome to agebuzz… Headlining today’s topics:
-The Last Word
Claim Check: How to Search For Lost Money That May Be Yours: If you’ve ever been the executor of an estate, you know the challenge of trying to identify all of the assets in the estate- bank accounts, stocks, property, etc. Even with a well written will, it’s always possible that there may be some assets hidden or undiscovered, waiting to be claimed by rightful heirs. In fact, there are estimates that $42 billion of unclaimed funds are currently sitting in state treasuries, where they are held indefinitely by states awaiting legitimate claims. Often, the state has no way to know who the heirs may be, so the burden is on the heirs to find the assets and make the claim. How to start such a search? Luckily, Savvy Senior’s Jim Miller has just published a piece that gives you on-line search engines specifically designed to help you search for long lost treasures and family assets across the 50 states. So put on your Sherlock hat, and start your search by Reading Here.
Hope For The Best: Updates On Alzheimer’s Diagnostic Tests And Treatment: Anyone who has dealt with Alzheimer’s knows how bleak the outlook can be, especially given the lack of effective treatment. What you may not realize is that many patients in the early stages of cognitive impairment or dementia seem to be misdiagnosed with Alzheimer’s, thus taking medications that are of no benefit or maybe even harmful. But now, according to new research at the University of California San Francisco, clinicians can use PET scans (positron emission tomography) to determine whether amyloid plaques are in the brain of a patient. The presence of the plaques isn’t definitive for an Alzheimer’s diagnosis but the lack of plaques means the patient doesnot have Alzheimer’s. From early study results these researchers are finding that a significant portion of those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in fact do not have the disease, and thus are being incorrectly treated. Read more about this important study Here. And in related news, researchers in Ohio have just published exciting results about biomarkers found in patient spinal fluid and blood which will help produce a more definitive and early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and thus more individually appropriate treatment. Click Here to read more about this study. And when it comes to treatments for Alzheimer’s, there is also hopeful news on the horizon. Although no new Alzheimer’s drugs have been introduced in the US since 2003, there are now 27 drugs in phase 3 clinical trials, which is the last phase of testing before a drug can be introduced into the market. While none of these is likely a cure, it does mean that more effective treatment may be available in the future. Read about the prospects for new treatment options Here.
Lost And Found: Solutions For People With Memory Problems: For many people with Alzheimer’s or significant memory problems, their lives are lived mostly in the past- their days are spent thinking of long ago places and decades-old activities. Some get confused and try to physically return to those places, causing caregivers concern as they attempt to wander away. The result? Often such people wind up locked in their living spaces so they can’t run off and become lost. That’s a cruel and isolating solution to a problem that millions of people worldwide may face as they get older. Another solution? Create environments where such people can reminisce and safely wander, and socially engage with others. Enter Dementia Villages: newly created spaces that are replicas of the past where people wander, engage and re-live their prior lives, while staying safe and sound. These sorts of villages already exist in Canada and Scandinavia, and now San Diego is building it’s own village which will be available for strolling in 2018. No doubt some ethical concerns arise as to whether it’s appropriate to “trick” people in this way- yet the freedom of movement and level of social engagement that accompany these spaces is hard to ignore. Read more about the Dementia Village movement Here. And for those of you who are public radio fans, listen to this archived segment from Radio Lab about how one nursing home in Germany created a way for dementia patients to wander outside, collect their thoughts and ultimately return to the facility.
All In The Family: Mediators For Adult Siblings Of Aging Parents: Adult siblings, whether close or estranged, are often drawn together when their aging parents require help with housing, medical care or finances. Working together can renew and strengthen bonds between the siblings, or it can create conflict and stress, as rivalries from the past resurface. For example, The New York Times highlighted one particular set of siblings and their path toward mediation as a way to resolve tensions and allow them to work together for a comfortable solution for all. Read their story Here. Elder mediation is, in fact, a valuable, non-adversarial process for resolving the myriad of family conflicts that can arise in the caregiving context. Read thisAARP guide to choosing an elder mediator Here. And Click Here to readRichard Eisenberg’s recent column in Next Avenue, where he discusses the #1 fight among adult siblings: money and aging parents. While you can’t pick your siblings, you can choose how to get along!
Different Strokes: You Need To Know The Early Warning Signs Of Stroke: Every year close to 800,000 people in the United States suffer a stroke, and one out of every twenty deaths in our country is due to stroke. Once blood flow is cut off from your brain you have just minutes before serious damage or even death may occur. Yet a new survey published by theAmerican Heart Association (AHA) reports that about one in three adults may have had warning signs of a mini-stroke, called a TIA (trans-ischemic attack), which could foreshadow a real stroke, yet they failed to seek medical help. This is of serious concern, especially as a new Canadian study has found that once you have had one stroke, your risk for another stroke, or a heart attack, is much higher for the next five years, even if you recovered fully from the first stroke. The bottom line? You need to be aware of signs and symptoms for stroke, and the ways you can manage your risk, in order to minimize the occurrence of what could be a deadly event. Read more about the AHA survey Here and find out more about this new Canadian study Here. And for more general info about stroke symptoms and prevention, check out this guide from the National Institute of Health.
Razor Sharp: A Clean Shave, And A Compelling Video, For Those Who Shave Others: You don’t usually need the tissue box at your side when you watch a commercial, but Gillette has now done the unlikely- bring you to tears while watching a man get his face shaved. More specifically, the new Gillette Treo razor is billed as the first razor specifically made for caregivers who shave others. Anyone who’s been in that position knows how physically awkward and potentially risky it is to give an older man a clean shave. Yet it’s often an essential task for caregivers, and a way to maintain the dignity of a man who can no longer shave himself. While we can’t vouch for the razor itself, we can give kudos to Gillette for the poignant 3 minute video they’ve made showing an aging father and devoted son at their most vulnerable. So pull out your hanky and Watch Here.
THE LAST WORD: “To the outside world we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other’s hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time.” Claire Ortega