Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Alzheimer's Disease Medications Fact Sheet | National Institute on Aging

Alzheimer's Disease Medications Fact Sheet | National Institute on Aging

Alzheimer's Disease Medications Fact Sheet

Several prescription drugs are currently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat people who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Treating the symptoms of Alzheimer’s can provide patients with comfort, dignity, and independence for a longer period of time and can encourage and assist their caregivers as well.

It is important to understand that none of these medications stops the disease itself.

For information about managing medicines for people with Alzheimer's disease, read the tip sheet Managing Medicines (PDF, 625K).

Volunteers—people with Alzheimer's or mild cognitive impairment and healthy individuals—are needed to participate in Alzheimer's clinical research. Learn more about participating in clinical trials.

Treatment for Mild to Moderate Alzheimer’s

Medications called cholinesterase inhibitors are prescribed for mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. These drugs may help delay or prevent symptoms from becoming worse for a limited time and may help control some behavioral symptoms. The medications include: Razadyne® (galantamine), Exelon® (rivastigmine), and Aricept® (donepezil). Another drug, Cognex® (tacrine), was the first approved cholinesterase inhibitor but is rarely prescribed today due to safety concerns.

Scientists do not yet fully understand how cholinesterase inhibitors work to treat Alzheimer’s disease, but research indicates that they prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine, a brain chemical believed to be important for memory and thinking. As Alzheimer’s progresses, the brain produces less and less acetylcholine; therefore, cholinesterase inhibitors may eventually lose their effect.

No published study directly compares these drugs. Because they work in a similar way, switching from one of these drugs to another probably will not produce significantly different results. However, an Alzheimer’s patient may respond better to one drug than another.

Treatment for Moderate to Severe Alzheimer’s

A medication known as Namenda® (memantine), an N-methyl D-aspartate (NMDA) antagonist, is prescribed to treat moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease. This drug’s main effect is to delay progression of some of the symptoms of moderate to severe Alzheimer’s.

It may allow patients to maintain certain daily functions a little longer than they would without the medication. For example, Namenda® may help a patient in the later stages of the disease maintain his or her ability to use the bathroom independently for several more months, a benefit for both patients and caregivers.

Namenda® is believed to work by regulating glutamate, an important brain chemical. When produced in excessive amounts, glutamate may lead to brain cell death. Because NMDA antagonists work very differently from cholinesterase inhibitors, the two types of drugs can be prescribed in combination.

The FDA has also approved Aricept® for the treatment of moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease.

Dosage and Side Effects

Doctors usually start patients at low drug doses and gradually increase the dosage based on how well a patient tolerates the drug. There is some evidence that certain patients may benefit from higher doses of the cholinesterase inhibitors. However, the higher the dose, the more likely are side effects. The recommended effective dosages of drugs prescribed to treat the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and the drugs’ possible side effects are summarized in the table (see below).

Patients should be monitored when a drug is started. Report any unusual symptoms to the prescribing doctor right away. It is important to follow the doctor’s instructions when taking any medication, including vitamins and herbal supplements. Also, let the doctor know before adding or changing any medications.

Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral (ADEAR) Center
A Service of the National Institute on Aging

National Institutes of Health
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

November 2008

Publication Date: July 2010
Page Last Updated: March 22, 2013

World in Pictures, April 24, 2013: Solar powered plane over San Francisco and ships collide in Canada - Wales Online

World in Pictures, April 24, 2013: Solar powered plane over San Francisco and ships collide in Canada - Wales Online

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP)

The Purpose of the Program and How it Works

The National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP), established in 2000, provides grants to States and Territories, based on their share of the population aged 70 and over, to fund a range of supports that assist family and informal caregivers to care for their loved ones at home for as long as possible.

Families are the major provider of long-term care, but research has shown that caregiving exacts a heavy emotional, physical and financial toll. Many caregivers who work and provide care experience conflicts between these responsibilities. Twenty two percent of caregivers are assisting two individuals, while eight percent are caring for three or more. Almost half of all caregivers are over age 50, making them more vulnerable to a decline in their own health, and one-third describe their own health as fair to poor.

The NFCSP offers a range of services to support family caregivers. Under this program, States shall provide five types of services:

information to caregivers about available services,

assistance to caregivers in gaining access to the services,

individual counseling, organization of support groups, and caregiver training,

respite care, and

supplemental services, on a limited basis

Monday, April 22, 2013

Because a lot of caring is done by family members, it's assumed anyone can do it. | Carers Chill4us

Because a lot of caring is done by family members, it's assumed anyone can do it. | Carers Chill4us

Carers come in all shapes and sizes, and as more and more of us fail to die on time, the demand for them is going to increase. But according to a survey, only a third of those working in the NHS believe they are properly supervised, and nine out of 10 want to be registered, as nurses are. Which might be a step in the right direction, but doesn’t address the basic trouble: that caring has no real status.

Some carers are little short of saints, but because a lot of caring is inevitably done by family members, it’s assumed anyone can do it, and too many are simply doing it because it’s the only job going, with no sense of vocation, precious little pay, and too often expected to fit half an hour’s care into 20 minutes. They are, in terms of status, about where nursing was pre-Florence Nightingale: in a job that very few would choose above all other occupations.

The Skills Academy for Social Care is recruiting graduates to be fast-tracked into management, but caring won’t improve until carers themselves, and not just well-educated outsiders, can aim for a real career structure and proper recognition in terms of pay.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Carers get a hairdresser at the new dementia cafe opened in Norwich | Carers Chill4us

Carers get a hairdresser at the new dementia cafe opened in Norwich | Carers Chill4us: dementia café has been opened in the Norwich area.

Age UK Norfolk’s drop in cafe initiative taking place at Hammerton Court, Norwich. Getting to know one another in during an introduction to Cognititve Stimulation Therapy.

The café, at the Hammerton Court dementia care unit in Bowthorpe Road, follows similar initiatives in Costessey, Diss and Horstead.

The Pabulum Cafe opens will run on the third Wednesday of every month from 10.30am to 12.30pm.

The café offers people the chance to drop in and stay for as long as they wish.

A hairdresser is also available, providing an opportunity for carers attending the café to have their hair cut without having to arrange care cover.

Age UK Norfolk’s drop in cafe initiative taking place at Hammerton Court, Norwich. Getting to know one another in during an introduction to Cognititve Stimulation Therapy.

For more information about the café, call 01603 785241 or see

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

DayCare at Night programs serving Alzheimer's Caregivers

Night Care Registry: DayCare listing Night programs serving Alzheimer's Caregivers

Carers often experience chronic sleep deprivation. At the onset of nighttime. The demons of anxiety, anger, fear, hallucinations and paranoia come out. Night time can be unpredictable, up and down cycles.

Please email "daycareatnight at" to add programs.

UKGeriActive catalogue of activity ideas


A-Z of Activity

Ideas In the following pages you will find a catalogue of activity ideas for you to use just click on the image and away you go

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Full Circle of Care Caregiver Website

Full Circle of Care Caregiver Website: Respite for Caregivers

Sometimes just getting a break is all that you need. Sometimes getting a break is what makes everything work. That's what respite is - a break for caregivers.

Respite is the provision of temporary relief to family members and other primary caregivers caring for an impaired individual at home. It can be "group respite" where supervised activities are offered in a supportive and safe environment outside the home or it can be "individual respite" provided by an agency worker, volunteer, or friend within the home. There is also a service called "institutional respite" where your family member is temporarily placed in a long-term care facility or hospital to provide the caregiver with relief from caregiving responsibilities.

The availability of all three types of respite varies from county to county. Contact your local Caregiver Specialist or Information & Assistance Specialist to see what is available in your community.

Caregiving Programs for Dementia, Alzheimers Patients - AARP

Caregiving Programs for Dementia, Alzheimers Patients - AARP

ElderServe at Night, the Hebrew Home at Riverdale, Bronx, N.Y.
Nighttime can be grueling for caregivers. Dementia can wreak havoc on an individual's sleep cycle, leading to sleeplessness, night terrors, wandering or agitation.

"We heard the pleas of family caregivers who weren't sleeping at night and couldn't function the next day," says Deborah M. Messina, Hebrew Home's adult day and evening services director. "It was leading to family tension and premature nursing home placement."

To help, in 1998 the Hebrew Home at Riverdale began offering adult day services — at night. Those enrolled can socialize, putter in the garden, visit the circus, do yoga, paint, cook, listen to live music or get a mini-massage. They receive prescribed meds, plus physical, aroma- and light therapy. "If they want to walk through the halls at 3 a.m., staff members are there," says Messina.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Carers to get a break as new service launched - Local Headlines - Deeside Piper and Herald

Carers to get a break as new service launched - Local Headlines - Deeside Piper and Herald: “Respite is essential. We recently got access to the Creative Breaks Fund through the Scottish Government and the Change Fund. It can be used flexibly to help carers have a short holiday, pay for leisure or gardening equipment or enjoy a bit of pampering. It can be a chance to have a break from their caring role or spend quality time with the person they care for. It means they can rest and recharge their batteries as well as trying a new skill or picking up an old hobby. I’d urge any local carers to get in touch as soon as possible to get support in applying for this funding.”

“For short-term respite we’re working in partnership with Alzheimer Scotland to offer relaxation sessions for carers at Victory Hall in Aboyne.”

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Eldercare Services for Veterans

Eldercare Services for Veterans

Senior Care Answers: When is Memory Loss More Than Old Age?

Senior Care Answers: When is Memory Loss More Than Old Age?

 One of the early signs that many family members notice is difficulty with financial or other tasks which require "complex thinking".  You have to compare this to a baseline (i.e. if your Dad always handled the bills and checkbook, but has now begun missing payments) and "getting scammed" is not always an indication of dementia.  However, these indicators may warrant some changes, before bigger problems occur.
Some signs to watch for if you are worried about memory loss (these can also go hand-in-hand with physical impairments or other senior care issues):
  • Spoiled food in the refrigerator, difficulty preparing meals or dealing with appliances properly, forgetting to turn off the stove.
  • Missed appointments, trouble remembering dates and managing tasks and to-do's.
  • Significant changes in appearance and personal care.
  • Significant changes in household maintenance/care and cleanliness.
  • Medication misuse (signs might include unfilled prescriptions, pill bottles in disarray, inability to explain what a medicine is for or when/how it is to be taken).
  • For more signs, grab a free copy of our "Warning Signs" evaluation checklist:
Senior Care Warning Signs:Evaluation Checklist

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

MyAgingFolks - Support for Caregivers. Senior-Care Answers. Expert advice.

MyAgingFolks - Support for Caregivers. Senior-Care Answers. Expert advice.

FREE -  Support & Answers for senior care and elderlaw questions


Professional eldercare advice for your loved one is our #1 concern is a resource for adult children finding themselves in the challenging role of caregiver for an aging parent.
      Our services are all designed to support family caregivers involved with eldercare issues. Whether the help you need is advice, an expert answer, a service recommendation, a financial or legal decision, our network of independent professionals (e.g. geriatric care managers, doctors, nurses, Medicare/Medicaid specialists, financial advisors, physical therapists, lawyers, etc.) can help you thrive in your role as caregiver. is independently owned and operated. We are neither affiliated with nor accept advertising from insurance companies, residential facilities, or health-care services. You can rest assured that your selection of a professional at is a person who best matches your needs. 

---Professionals: Connect with Caregivers Near You

Information collected content from various Internet sources and consolidated on Ish's Knowledge Network 

We have no control of how you may use information you get from this site and does not attest to the validity of any information found within. Much of this information comes from third parties (, Use advice your own risk. Our goal is to print only valuable information and advice.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Marie Marley: Alzheimer's and the Devil Called Denial

Marie Marley: Alzheimer's and the Devil Called Denial

But people noticing consistent signs of confusion and forgetfulness in a loved one should not wait for the 'defining incident.' One early action to take is to review the Alzheimer's Association's 10 Signs of Dementia and ask yourself whether your loved one is showing one or more of them:

1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life

2. Challenges in planning or solving problems

3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work and at leisure

4. Confusion with time or place

5. Difficulty understanding visual images and spatial relationships

6. New problems with words in speaking or writing

7. Losing things and the inability to retrace steps

8. Decreased or poor judgment

9. Withdrawal from work or social activities

10. Changes in mood and personality

The Alzheimer's Association website has additional information about each of these items and explains how they differ from things 'normal people' do from time to time