Bright sunny Saturday & info about Alzheimer's screening
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Wow.......a beautiful day today. I got to my beginner tai chi class to review. I forget the moves so easily. By the way, everyone - I went to a special session on early detection and screening of Alzheimers in Canada. The organization is called Flame of Hope and Dr. Alan Johnson was the speaker. The main point is, there is now effective treatment - drugs - to allow the person who is detected early to function in their own environment longer than if the disease is not detected. It doesn't increase length of life but would definitely improve quality of life for at least 21 months longer. My stepfather was given Aricept and it was like the movie "Awakening" for a couple of years. Eventually it couldn't stop the dreadful progression of the disease but it did allow him to remain in his own home with my Mom longer. He finally got worse and she couldn't handle any more and he was in the hospital for a number of weeks. They were about to place him in a nursing home and he died in the hosptial. I don't think - if he were cognizant - he would have wanted to go to a nursing home so who knows? - maybe divine intervention? Anyway, the Canadian Legion is supporting this early screening project which encourages anyone over 65 to do the very simple tests with their families. One involves drawing a clock face with the time at 10 minutes after 11. Apparently the sharp angles and marking the numbers on the clock is difficult if you are having memory problems. The other test is to name as many animals are you can in exactly one minute time period. Then the results are sent to the people in Flame of Hope who will review results and notify the person and their doctor of results and if need of further testing. In this way, they can catch people who otherwise would not be detected until later when they are being admitted to nursing homes. I know people may not want to know but if it can help them have a better quality of life and they have the disease anyway - it would be much better to know. If this can help anyone - I will be glad I shared this information. Age is a big factor in risk - and so is high cholestrol. It makes me much more concerned about my high cholestrol. Another thing is keeping active, mentally and physically. So for all us SPARKPeople it emphasizes the importance of what we are doing and gives us a powerful motivation. Good luck everyone! I am going to get walking this weekend and being very very diligent with cutting cholestrol!