Sunday, 22 April 2018

Chinese courier takes elderly Alzheimer's mother on rounds with him because she cannot be left alone

A courier in southwest China has been taking his elderly mother along with him on his rounds for the past seven years to ensure she is looked after at all times.

Cai Yujun, 52, has modified his electric bike to ensure that his 92-year-old mother Yang Suxiu has a more comfortable seat on the back.  

He also uses a couple of ropes to secure her to the frame as he makes deliveries to computer shops in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province.

Yang was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s seven years ago and can longer take care of herself, according to the news website report.

“Mother has laboured her whole life for our family. So, no matter how hard life is, I cannot shirk my responsibility for taking care of her,” Cai told the website.

The pair have traveled to every corner of the city together, and the report said Cai always holds his mother’s hand when delivering products to prevent her from getting lost.


Cai’s colleagues and friends have also helped out by keeping an eye on her when she cannot follow her son into some of the buildings he visits.

“Many friends like to chat and joke with her,” Cai added.

(Source:  South China Morning Post, 18 April 2018)

Saturday, 14 April 2018

STUDY FINDS TREATING DEPRESSION LOWERS ALZHEIMER’S RISK


There is no one reason why some people get Alzheimer’s and others do not. Most scientists point to genetics and lifestyle as the main factors, but there are many subcategories within those factors that all play a part in overall risk: education level, sex, obesity, whether or not someone is a smoker or has high blood pressure, and age itself, among others. Some of these, like smoking, can be controlled; others, like genetics, are just the luck of the draw.

And then there’s depression, which a large body of research points to as a risk factor for Alzheimer’s. Older adults with depression have been identified as twice as likely to develop dementia, and 65 percent more likely to develop Alzheimer’s. People cannot control whether or not they’ll get depression, but they can treat it, which a new study says can help prevent how it affects Alzheimer’s risk.

According to a new study from Boston University School of Medicine, getting evaluated and treated for depression can improve or maintain cognitive function in patients with mild cognitive impairment (M.C.I.), which is considered to be the first stage of Alzheimer’s by most researchers. People with M.C.I. can still function in their day-to-day life, but tasks like paying bills or grocery shopping are noticeably harder.

Researchers looked at data from over 6,700 people with an average age of 72. The participants were evaluated at the beginning of the study for cognitive ability, then followed for two to 12 years.

While results showed that people who started as normal were more likely to progress to M.C.I. if they had depression, anxiety or other mood symptoms, one-third of those who had M.C.I. were able to go back to normal cognition, and those who reverted back had a reduction in depressive symptoms.

Researchers highlighted that successfully identifying and providing effective treatment for these neuropsychiatric symptoms, including depression, may potentially improve or maintain cognitive functioning in many older adults.

Researchers still don’t know if late-life depression causes dementia or contributes to it, or if it’s the other way around—those who are pre-symptomatic may experience depression as a result of changes in the brain that will lead to dementia.

It is highlighted that there are many possible explanations for these findings and further research is needed to address this important issue.


(Source:  Being Patient, 11 April 2018  – This study was published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.)

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

SAT / 21APR18 ADFM Monthly Caregivers Sharing Session on Coping with Behaviour Challenges and Yoga Exercise Session


To: Caregivers for persons with Alzheimer and dementia 

Below is the programme for the monthly caregivers sharing session to be held on 21 April 2018 at the ADFM Day-Care Centre at No. 6, Lorong 11/8E, Seksyen 11, 46200 Petaling Jaya.

SATURDAY, 21 APRIL 2018
12.30pm - 1.30pm
Rejuvenating Chair Yoga” Monthly Yoga Exercise by Certified International Yoga Instructor, Ms Ashlynn Williams who has been practicing Yoga for more than 8 years. Chair Yoga is a great routine for loosening and strengthening the legs, the back, shoulders and neck, especially for seniors.  It is very gentle and perfect for those with limited mobility.  You will have fun with physical exercises and breathing techniques both the body and the mind.

1.30pm - 2.00pm
Refreshments

2.00pm – 4.00pm
Caregivers Sharing Session on Coping with Behaviour Challenges which will be Facilitated by ADFM Dementia Care Trainer, Ms Satiapoorany Subramaniam who is a retired nursing educator with extensive clinical experience.


FREE Admission - Prior registration is required for our logistic purposes.  Please Email to: jenny@adfm.org.my and copy: jennyho8@gmail.com or whatsapp 016 608 2513, providing:

(1)    Full Name/s
(2)    Mobile contact/s
(3)    Email address
(4)    Indicate to whom you are caring for if you are a caregiver, or your position for our attendance record.


Kind regards,
Jenny
016 608 2513
ADFM National Caregivers Support Network

ADFM National Caregivers Support Network is an online community platform for caregivers to seek support, information, advice, and share their caregiving challenges and experiences with other caregivers.
To join, Sign Up at:  http://admalaysia.ning.com

Monday, 12 March 2018

17MAR &18MAR18 ADFM Dementia Care Training Workshop for Family Caregivers


To:  Family Caregivers for persons with Alzheimer's and Dementia,

Alzheimer’s Disease Foundation Malaysia (ADFM) will be conducting the DEMENTIA CARE SKILLS (DCS) Training Workshop for Family Caregivers (and their care workers) on:

Date:      Saturday, 17 March 2018 (9.00am – 5.00pm), & 
               Sunday, 18 March 2018 (9.00am – 1.00pm)

Venue:  ADFM PJ Day-Care Centre, No. 6 Lorong 11/8E, Seksyen 11, 46200 Petaling Jaya

Caring for a person with dementia can be very stressful and traumatic at times. Dementia not only affects the person living with the condition, but also the entire family. The greatest challenge is on you, the caregiver. With a better understanding of dementia, you can plan for and cope with the challenges that you may encounter in your caregiving journey.

This one and a half-day interactive training comprising 4-modules is designed to support you in your caregiving role with essential knowledge and skills to care for the person with dementia and yourself, using the Person-Centered Care Approach through sharing of real-life scenarios, discussions and identify potential strategies for managing caregiver stress.

Learning Outcome:
Module 1: Impact of Dementia and Person-Centred Care
     Identify the principles of Person Centered Care (PCC)
     Recognize the impact of dementia on person with dementia, and family caregivers
     Identify your own level of stress and self-care strategies
     Identify community resources available to support family caregivers

Module 2: Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia (BPSD)
     Understanding behaviour associated with dementia
     Identify potential triggers for behaviour associated with dementia
     Identify a range of options for supporting the person with dementia

Module 3: Effective Communication
       Describe the impact of dementia on communication
       Identify strategies for effective communication with a person with dementia, including:
        Reality orientation, Validation, Reminiscence

Module 4: Purposeful and Meaningful Engagement
     Recognize the value of promoting engagement with life for a person with dementia
     Recognize the value of activity for a person with dementia
     Identify ways of adapting activities to meet individual needs

PROGRAMME
Day One
Saturday
17 March 2018 
0830 - 0900
0900 - 1100
1100 - 1115
1115 - 1315
1315 - 1400
1400 - 1430
1430 - 1600 
1600 - 1615
1615 - 1700
Registration
Module 1: Impact of Dementia and Person-Centered Care (PCC)
Refreshment break
Module 2: Behavioural & Psychological Symptoms of Dementia
Lunch Break & Photo Session
Interactive Session (Cont’d Module 2)
Module 3: Effective Communication
Tea break
Interactive Session (Cont’d Module 3)
Q & As

Day Two
Sunday
18 March 2018
0830 - 0900
0900 - 1115
1115 - 1130
1130 - 1300 
Registration
Module 4 – Purposeful & Meaningful Engagement
Refreshment break
Module 4 (Cont’d)
Interactive Session
Q & A
Summary


ADFM Team of Trainers / Facilitators:
(1)     Module 1 & Module 2 by Geriatrician, Dr Elizabeth Chong
(2)     Module 3 & Module 4 by Mr Felix Kong Hon Sen 

FREE Admission and Compulsory Registration for logistic purposes.  Email Jenny at jenny@adfm.org.my / jennyho8@gmail.com or whatsapp 016 608 2513, providing:

(1)    Full Name/s
(2)    Mobile contact
(3)    Email address
(4)    Indicate whether family caregiver or care worker, and
(5)    To whom you are caring for.


Kind regards,
Jenny
016 608 2513
ADFM National Caregivers Support Network:   http://admalaysia.ning.com
ADFM National Caregivers Support Network is an online community platform for caregivers to seek support, information, advice, and share their caregiving challenges and experiences with other caregivers.

Thursday, 1 March 2018

10MARCH18 (SAT) ADFM Monthly Talk & Caregivers' Sharing Session at ADFM PJ Day-Care Cemtre


Dear Caregivers,

The monthly talk and caregivers' sharing session for the month of March 2018 at the ADFM Day-Care Centre at No. 6, Lorong 11/8E, Seksyen 11, 46200 Petaling Jaya.

SATURDAY, 10 March 2018
12.30pm - 1.30pm
Rejuvenating Chair Yoga” Exercise by Certified International Yoga Instructor, Ms Ashlynn Williams who has been practicing Yoga for more than 8 years. Chair Yoga is a great routine for loosening and strengthening the legs, the back, shoulders and neck, especially for seniors.  It is very gentle and perfect for those with limited mobility.  You will have fun with physical exercises and breathing techniques both the body and the mind.

1.30pm - 2.00pm
Refreshments

2.00pm - 4.00pm
Talk on “Value of Home Rehabilitation for Alzheimer’s Disease: “Occupational Therapy Approach” by Mathew Teo, Occupational Therapist and Senior Lecturer from Perdana University.  Followed by Caregivers' Sharing Session to be facilitated by Ms Satipoorany Subramaniam, ADFM Trainer.

FREE Admission - Prior registration is required for our logistic purposes.  Please Email to: jenny@adfm.org.my and copy: jennyho8@gmail.com or whatsapp 016 608 2513, providing:

(1)    Full Name/s
(2)    Mobile contact/s
(3)    Email address
(4)    Indicate to whom you are caring for if you are a caregiver, or your position for our attendance record.

Kind regards,
Jenny
016 608 2513 / 03 7931 5850
ADFM National Caregivers Support Network

ADFM National Caregivers Support Network is an online community platform for caregivers to seek support, information, advice, and share their caregiving challenges and experiences with other caregivers.
To join, Sign Up at:  http://admalaysia.ning.com

Monday, 25 December 2017

ADFM Community Outreach Program in January 2018 at Atria-ADFM Community Centre


ATRIA – ADFM COMMUNITY CENTRE (AACC)
T03, 3rd Floor, Atria Shopping Gallery
Jalan SS22/23, Damansara Jaya, 47400 Petaling Jaya,
Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia


COMMUNITY OUTREACH PROGRAMS
 JANUARY 2018

FREE REGISTRATION – OPEN TO ALL CAREGIVERS FOR PERSONS LIVING WITH ALZHEIMER’S AND DEMENTIA, ELDERLY & FAMILIES

Sunday 11.30AM-12.30PM
January 7, 14, 21 and 28
Weekly Sunday Yoga Exercise
by Yoga Instructor, Daphanie Kuan

(For Caregivers and Alzheimer’s Dementia Persons, the Elderly and their families.)
Saturday, 6 January
2.00PM – 3.30PM
“Stroke in The Elderly” by Dr Tan Kit Mun, Consultant Geriatrician of UMMC
·         Risk Factors
·         Prevention Strategies
·         Acute Medical Treatment
·         Complications of Stroke
·         The Rehabilitation Process

Saturday, 13 January
2.00PM – 3.30PM
“Nutrition for Brain Power” by Chan Cudennec, Holistic Health Coach and Nutrition Specialist
Saturday, 20 January
2.00PM – 3.30PM
“Breathing for Health” by Chan Cudennec, Holistic Health Coach and Nutrition Specialist

Saturday, 27 January  
2.00PM – 4.00PM
Caregivers Sharing Session “Caregiving for Persons Living with Dementia” - Facilitator, Catherine Siow, Caregiver to late AD Mum.


Registration is required for logistics purpose. Email jenny@adfm.org.my OR Whatsapp: 016 608 2513, providing:
(1)    Full Name/s
(2)    Mobile contact
(3)    Email address
(4)    Indicate whether family caregiver or care worker
(5)    Whom you are caring for

Further enquiries, please whatsapp 016 608 2513 (Jenny) or see Bee Lan & Cath Siow at the Atria Community Centre. 






Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Can Vitamin E Prevent Alzheimer's?

Can Vitamin E Prevent Alzheimer's?   
      
The evidence:
While there is some evidence that vitamin E slows the progression of Alzheimer's, a recent trial the first large-scale trial to investigate whether antioxidants can prevent dementia found that neither vitamin E nor selenium (another antioxidant) was protective, whether used alone or in combination.

The study, published in JAMA Neurology in 2017, tested the effect of the two antioxidants on about 3,800 men who were at least 60 years old. Participants were divided into four groups, each took supplements or placebo for up to 15 years as follows: vitamin E (400 IU per day), selenium (200 micrograms per day), vitamin E plus selenium, or placebo. All participants were evaluated periodically for dementia, using screening tests and medical records.

Analysis showed that about the same percentage of each of the four groups – 4 percent developed dementia, indicating that neither supplement was protective.

The bottom line:

Don't waste your money on these supplements to prevent Alzheimer's.  A better investment in money and time would be to exercise regularly and follow a healthful diet to reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease. There is convincing evidence that these steps can also help reduce the risk for age-related cognitive decline.

(Source: UC Berkeley Health and Wellness Alerts, 12 December 2017)

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

ADFM ACTIVITIES AT AACC: (1) FRI/24NOV Sing-Along Session (2) SUN/26NOV Yoga Exercise Session

TO:  Family caregivers, dementia persons, seniors and the elderly

The following activities will be held at the ATRIA-ADFM Community Centre (AACC) on:

Venue:  ATRIA-ADFM Community Centre, Atria Shopping Gallery, T03, 3rd Floor, Jalan SS 22/23, Damansara Jaya, Petaling Jaya

FRIDAY,
24
NOVEMBER
11.00am-1.00pm
Sing-Along Session by the Eleven to One Singing Group from DJROA who will sing sentimental oldies and Christmas songs.

All caregivers and dementia persons as well as seniors/elderly are welcome to join the session – nasi lemak for lunch after the session.


SUNDAY,
26 November

11.00am-1.00pm  

SUNDAY YOGA EXERCISE for Caregivers and Dementia Persons, the Elderly and their families.  


FREE - NO REGISTRATION FEES for our outreach programs/activities.

TO REGISTER: Email to: jenny@adfm.org.my / jennyho8@gmail.com, OR WhatsApp 016 608 2513, providing:
(1)    Full Name/s
(2)    Mobile contact
(3)    Email address
(4)    If you are a caregiver, indicate whom you are caring for.

Kindly confirm your attendance for our logistic arrangement.

The ATRIA-ADFM Dementia Friendly Community Center (AACC), officially opened on 9 September 2017, is a joint community service initiative between ADFM and Atria Shopping Gallery to promote greater awareness of Alzheimer’s and dementia, and cater to the needs of people living with dementia (PWDs) around  the Damansara Jaya neighborhoods where the PWDs, their carers and the public will have greater access to information, assistance and support on Dementia.

Kind regards.

ADFM NATIONAL CAREGIVERS SUPPORT NETWORK is an online community platform for caregivers to seek support, information, advice, and share their caregiving challenges and experiences with other caregivers.
To Join:  Sign Up at:  http://admalaysia.ning.com
National Dementia Helpline: 603 7931 5850

Friday, 17 November 2017

LONGER LIVES, BETTER LIVING - WHY I’M DIGGING DEEP INTO ALZHEIMER'S

By Bill Gates, 13 November 2017

In every part of the world, people are living longer than they used to. Thanks to scientific advancements, fewer people die young from heart disease, cancer, and infectious diseases. It’s no longer unusual for a person to live well into their 80s and beyond. My dad will celebrate his 92nd birthday in a couple weeks, a milestone that was practically unimaginable when he was born.

This fact—that people are living longer than ever before—should always be a wonderful thing. But what happens when it’s not?


The longer you live, the more likely you are to develop a chronic condition. Your risk of getting arthritis, Parkinson’s, or another non-infectious disease that diminishes your quality of life increases with each year. But of all the disorders that plague us late in life, one stands out as a particularly big threat to society: Alzheimer’s disease.


You have a nearly 50 percent chance of developing the disease if you live into your mid-80s. It is the only cause of death in the top 10 without any meaningful treatments that becomes more prevalent each year. That trend will likely continue as baby boomers age, which means that more families will watch their loved ones suffer from cognitive decline and slowly disappear. Despite this growing burden, scientists have yet to figure out what exactly causes Alzheimer’s or how to stop the disease from destroying the brain.

I first became interested in Alzheimer’s because of its costs—both emotional and economic—to families and healthcare systems. The financial burden of the disease is much easier to quantify. A person with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia spends five times more every year out-of-pocket on healthcare than a senior without a neurodegenerative condition. Unlike those with many chronic diseases, people with Alzheimer’s incur long-term care costs as well as direct medical expenses. If you get the disease in your 60s or 70s, you might require expensive care for decades.

These costs represent one of the fastest growing burdens on healthcare systems in developed countries. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Americans will spend $259 billion caring for those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias in 2017. Absent a major breakthrough, expenditures will continue to squeeze healthcare budgets in the years and decades to come. This is something that governments all over the world need to be thinking about, including in low- and middle-income countries where life expectancies are catching up to the global average and the number of people with dementia is on the rise.


The human cost of Alzheimer’s is much more difficult to put into numbers. It’s a terrible disease that devastates both those who have it and their loved ones. This is something I know a lot about, because men in my family have suffered from Alzheimer’s. I know how awful it is to watch people you love struggle as the disease robs them of their mental capacity, and there is nothing you can do about it. It feels a lot like you’re experiencing a gradual death of the person that you knew.

My family history isn’t the sole reason behind my interest in Alzheimer’s. But my personal experience has exposed me to how hopeless it feels when you or a loved one gets the disease. We’ve seen scientific innovation turn once-guaranteed killers like HIV into chronic illnesses that can be held in check with medication. I believe we can do the same (or better) with Alzheimer’s.

I’ve spent considerable time over the last year learning about the disease and the progress made to date. There’s a lot of amazing work being done in this field to delay Alzheimer’s and reduce its cognitive impact. What I’ve heard from researchers, academics, funders, and industry experts makes me hopeful that we can substantially alter the course of Alzheimer’s if we make progress in five areas:

·     We need to better understand how Alzheimer’s unfolds. The brain is a complicated    organ. Because it’s so difficult to study while patients are alive, we know very little about  how it ages normally and how Alzheimer’s disrupts that process. Our understanding of what happens in the brain is based largely on autopsies, which show only the late stages of the disease and don’t explain many of its lingering mysteries. For example, we don’t fully understand why you are more likely to get Alzheimer’s if you’re African American or Latino than if you’re white. If we’re going to make progress, we need a better grasp on its underlying causes and biology.

·       We need to detect and diagnose Alzheimer’s earlier. Since the only way to diagnose Alzheimer’s definitively is through an autopsy after death, it’s difficult to identify the disease definitively early in its progression. Cognitive tests exist but often have a high variance. If you didn’t sleep well the night before, that might skew your results. A more reliable, affordable, and accessible diagnostic—such as a blood test—would make it easier to see how Alzheimer’s progresses and track how effective new drugs are.

·       We need to better understand how Alzheimer’s unfolds. The brain is a complicated organ. Because it’s so difficult to study while patients are alive, we know very little about how it ages normally and how Alzheimer’s disrupts that process. Our understanding of what happens in the brain is based largely on autopsies, which show only the late stages of the disease and don’t explain many of its lingering mysteries. For example, we don’t fully understand why you are more likely to get Alzheimer’s if you’re African American or Latino than if you’re white. If we’re going to make progress, we need a better grasp on its underlying causes and biology.

·       We need to make it easier to get people enrolled in clinical trials. The pace of innovation is partly determined by how quickly we can do clinical trials. Since we don’t yet have a good understanding of the disease or a reliable diagnostic, it’s difficult to find qualified people early enough in the disease’s progression willing to participate. It can sometimes take years to enroll enough patients. If we could develop a process to pre-qualify participants and create efficient registries, we could start new trials more quickly.

·     We need to use data better. Every time a pharmaceutical company or a research lab does a study, they gather lots of information. We should compile this data in a common form, so that we get a better sense of how the disease progresses, how that progression is determined by gender and age, and how genetics determines your likelihood of getting Alzheimer’s. This would make it easier for researchers to look for patterns and identify new pathways for treatment.

By improving in each of these areas, I think we can develop an intervention that drastically reduces the impact of Alzheimer’s. There are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about our chances: our understanding of the brain and the disease is advancing a great deal. We’re already making progress—but we need to do more.

I want to support the brilliant minds doing this work. As a first step, I’ve invested $50 million in the Dementia Discovery Fund—a private fund working to diversify the clinical pipeline and identify new targets for treatment. Most of the major pharmaceutical companies continue to pursue the amyloid and tau pathways. DDF complements their work by supporting startups as they explore less mainstream approaches to treating dementia.

I’m making this investment on my own, not through the foundation. The first Alzheimer’s treatments might not come to fruition for another decade or more, and they will be very expensive at first. Once that day comes, our foundation might look at how we can expand access in poor countries.

But before we can even begin to think about how we do that, we need lots of scientific breakthroughs. With all of the new tools and theories in development, I believe we are at a turning point in Alzheimer’s R&D. Now is the right time to accelerate that progress before the major costs hit countries that can’t afford high priced therapies and where exposure to the kind of budget implications of an Alzheimer’s epidemic could bankrupt health systems.

This is a frontier where we can dramatically improve human life. It’s a miracle that people are living so much longer, but longer life expectancies alone are not enough. People should be able to enjoy their later years—and we need a breakthrough in Alzheimer’s to fulfill that. I’m excited to join the fight and can’t wait to see what happens next.

(Source: GatesNotes Insider)