Friday, 28 October 2011

GPS Tracking Shoe for Dementia Patients Coming to Market

Sixty percent of persons living with Alzheimer's wander. The GPS tracking shoe could be the answer to this problem.

The new GPS tracking shoe will have the ability to "keep
track" of dementia patients, and locate anyone wearing the shoe if they wander away.

Every day there are multiple stories in the news about dementia patients that are missing. Sometimes they are found nearby, often they are found far far away.

The new GPS shoe won't be cheap, it costs about US$300, plus the monthly cost of tracking. The chip will be built into the shoe so that it won't fall off, or won't be removed by the patient.

The shoe will be very effective for those that allow those living with dementia to walk on their own. If they have the shoe you won't be hearing these famous words, "well, he never wandered away before".

You will actually be able to program the chip. So, if a person goes too far from home you could be alerted. This is the equivalent of an electronic fence.

Additionally, you can track the person on a computer and see where they are at any point in time. Find the location of the wearer with a few clicks on the internet, including a bread trail of where they have been. Totally easy! Fully private and secure. Works on MAC, PC, smart phones.

GTX Corp (GTXO) entered into a Fulfillment and Customer Service Agreement with Aetrex Worldwide, Inc. and Omnilink Systems, who built and maintains a market leading tracking solution for individuals with Alzheimer’s.

To view the demo, CLICK "GPS Shoe keeps track of your loved ones"

(Source : Alzheimer's Reading Room)

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

The Brain - How It Works & How Alzheimer's Affects It

Dear All,

Go Inside the Brain
- See how Alzheimer's Disease affects your body's most powerful organ.

The Brain Tour explains how the Brain works and how alzheimer's affects it.

As you may know, Alzheimer's disease isn't a normal part of aging. Has it been a while since you've taken our Brain Tour? Visit again today and get a refresher! Or, share this with others you know who need to be educated about Alzheimer's disease.

Many people are still unaware that ninety percent of what we know about Alzheimer's has been discovered in the last 15 years, and some of that knowledge has shed light on how Alzheimer's affects the brain. The hope is that enhanced understanding will lead to new treatments.

Stay physically active:

Physical exercise helps to maintain good blood flow to the brain and encourages the growth of new brain cells.

Eat a healthy diet:
High cholesterol may contribute to stroke and brain cell damage, so follow low-fat, low-cholesterol diet.

Remain socially active:

Social activity can reduce stress levels, which helps maintain healthy connections among brain cells.

Stay mentally active:

Mentally stimulating activities strengthen brain cells and the connections between them, and may even create new nerve cells.

Brain health is an important focus of our worldwide Alzheimer's research effort. Take the Brain Tour and learn why. Do share this information with friends, family, co-workers - anyone who may benefit - by sharing it on Facebook or retweeting it on Twitter.

(Source: Alzheimer's Association)

Monday, 24 October 2011


Proper care of the mouth and teeth can help prevent eating difficulties, digestive problems and extensive dental procedures down the road. However, brushing is sometimes difficult because a person with dementia may forget how or why it’s important to take care of his or her teeth.

To Assist:

- Provide short, simple instructions. "Brush your teeth" by itself may be too vague. Break down each step by saying: “Hold your toothbrush.” “Put paste on the brush.” Then, “Brush your teeth".

- Use a “watch me” technique. Hold a toothbrush, and show the person how to brush his or her teeth. Or, put your hand over the person’s hand, gently guiding the brush.

- Monitor daily oral care. Brush teeth or dentures after each meal, and make sure teeth are flossed daily. Disposable flossing devices may make flossing easier. Remove and clean dentures every night. Very gently brush the person’s gums, tongue and roof of the mouth. Investigate any signs of mouth discomfort during mealtime. Refusing to eat or strained facial expressions while eating may indicate mouth pain or dentures that don’t fit properly.

- Keep up with regular dental visits for as long as possible. Seeing a dentist regularly is essential for healthy teeth. Ask the dentist for suggestions or items that may help make dental care easier.


How to Cope When Someone With Severe Dementia No Longer Recognizes You

Not being recognized is distressing for dementia family members. It happens at different stages (especially by mid-severe stage); it may never happen to you at all. But if it does, it helps to be prepared.

Try to dwell less on whether your name is known and used correctly and more on the underlying emotional truth. Does the person seem to recognize your presence as a friendly one? Do you get a smile or sense of calm from him or her?

Avoid the temptation to check in with a test: "Hi, Mom! Do you know who this is?" Or, "Bob! Remember me?" Compare that with the warmer setup you provide by saying, "Hi, Mom, it's your oldest daughter Anna, come to see you again. I'm so happy to see you because I sure love you."

Don't stress, though, if things reach the point where you get no response at all. Whether or not you can discern a different response between the two examples above, the first approach creates stress and anxiety in the person with dementia, as if he or she were being tested. The latter response telegraphs affection and warmth, a much better starting place - even if it's not fully understood.

(Source: Paula Spencer Scott -

Alzheimers....What U can do to prevent Alzheimers and memory loss

"The idea that Alzheimer's is entirely genetic and unpreventable is perhaps the greatest misconception about the disease," says Gary Small, M.D., Director of the UCLA Center on Aging.

Researchers now know that Alzheimer's, like heart disease and cancer, develops over decades and can be influenced by lifestyle factors including cholesterol, blood pressure, obesity, depression, education, nutrition, sleep and mental, physical and social activity.

The big news:
Mountains of research reveals that simple things you do every day might cut your odds of losing your mind to Alzheimer's.

In search of scientific ways to delay and outlive Alzheimer's and other dementias, I tracked down thousands of studies and interviewed dozens of experts. The results in a new book: 100 Simple Things You Can Do to Prevent Alzheimer's and Age-Related Memory Loss (Little, Brown; $19.99).

Here are 10 strategies I found most surprising:

1. Have coffee
In an amazing flip-flop, coffee is the new brain tonic. A large European study showed that drinking three to five cups of coffee a day in midlife cut Alzheimer's risk 65% in late life. University of South Florida researcher Gary Arendash credits caffeine: He says it reduces dementia-causing amyloid in animal brains. Others credit coffee's antioxidants. So drink up, Arendash advises, unless your doctor says you shouldn't.

2. Floss
Oddly, the health of your teeth and gums can help predict dementia. University of Southern California research found that having periodontal disease before age 35 quadrupled the odds of dementia years later. Older people with tooth and gum disease score lower on memory and cognition tests, other studies show. Experts speculate that inflammation in diseased mouths migrates to the brain.

3. Be A Googler
Doing an online search can stimulate your aging brain even more than reading a book, says UCLA's Gary Small, who used brain MRIs to prove it. The biggest surprise: Novice Internet surfers, ages 55 to 78, activated key memory and learning centers in the brain after only a week of Web surfing for an hour a day.

4. Grow New Brain Cells
Impossible, scientists used to say. Now it's believed that thousands of brain cells are born daily. The trick is to keep the newborns alive. What works: aerobic exercise (such as a brisk 30-minute walk every day), strenuous mental activity, eating salmon and other fatty fish, and avoiding obesity, chronic stress, sleep deprivation, heavy drinking and vitamin B deficiency.

5. Drink Apple Juice
Apple juice can push production of the "memory chemical" acetylcholine; that's the way the popular Alzheimer's drug Aricept works, says Thomas Shea, Ph.D., of the University of Massachusetts. He was surprised that old mice given apple juice did better on learning and memory tests than mice that received water. A dose for humans: 16 ounces, or two to three apples a day.

6. Protect Your Head
Blows to the head, even mild ones early in life, increase odds of dementia years later. Pro football players have 19 times the typical rate of memory-related diseases. Alzheimer's is four times more common in elderly who suffer a head injury, Columbia University finds. Accidental falls doubled an older person's odds of dementia five years later in another study. Wear seat belts and helmets, fall-proof your house, and don't take risks.

7. Meditate
Brain scans show that people who meditate regularly have less cognitive decline and brain shrinkage - a classic sign of Alzheimer's - as they age. Andrew Newberg of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine says yoga meditation of 12 minutes a day for two months improved blood flow and cognitive functioning in seniors with memory problems.

8. Take Vitamin D
A "severe deficiency" of vitamin D boosts older Americans' risk of cognitive impairment 394%, an alarming study by England's University of Exeter finds. And most Americans lack vitamin D. Experts recommend a daily dose of 800 IU to 2,000 IU of vitamin D3.

9. Fill Your Brain
It 's called "cognitive reserve." A rich accumulation of life experiences - education, marriage, socializing, a stimulating job, language skills, having a purpose in life, physical activity and mentally demanding leisure activities - makes your brain better able to tolerate plaques and tangles. You can even have significant Alzheimer's pathology and no symptoms of dementia if you have high cognitive reserve, says David Bennett, M.D., of Chicago's Rush University Medical Center.

10. Avoid Infection
Astonishing new evidence ties Alzheimer's to cold sores, gastric ulcers, Lyme disease, pneumonia and the flu. Ruth Itzhaki, Ph.D., of the University of Manchester in England estimates the cold-sore herpes simplex virus is incriminated in 60% of Alzheimer's cases. The theory: Infections trigger excessive beta amyloid "gunk" that kills brain cells. Proof is still lacking, but why not avoid common infections and take appropriate vaccines, antibiotics and antiviral agents?

(Source: Excerpted from Jean Carper's newest book: 100 Simple Things You Can Do to Prevent Alzheimer's")


When a person with Alzheimer’s becomes aggressive, it is important to try to understand what is causing the person to become angry or upset. Aggressive behaviors may be verbal (shouting, name-calling or physical (hitting, pushing).

- Causes
How to respond
More information

Possible Causes
The chief cause of behavioral symptoms is the progressive deterioration of brain cells. However, environmental influences can also cause symptoms or make them worse. Aggression can be caused by many factors including physical discomfort, environmental factors and poor communication. Aggressive behaviors can occur suddenly, with no apparent reason, or can result from a frustrating situation. If the person is aggressive, consider the following:

Physical Discomfort

1. Is the person tired because of inadequate rest or sleep?
2. Are medications causing side effects? Side effects are especially likely to occur when individuals are taking multiple medications for several health conditions.
3. Is the person unable to let you know he or she is experiencing pain?

Environmental Factors

1. Is the person overstimulated by loud noises, an overactive environment or physical clutter?
2. Does the person feel lost ?

Poor Communication

1. Are you asking too may questions or making too many statements at once?
2. Are your instructions simple and easy to understand?
3. Is the person picking up on your own stress and irritability?
4. Are you being negative or critical?

How to Respond

- Try to identify the immediate cause. Think about what happened right before the reaction that may have triggered the behavior.

- Focus on feelings, not the facts. Rather than focusing on specific details, consider the person's emotions. Look for the feelings behind the words.

- Don't get upset. Don’t take the behavior personally. Be positive and reassuring. Speak slowly in a soft tone.

- Limit distractions. Examine the person's surroundings, and adapt them to avoid similar situations.

- Try a relaxing activity. Use music, massage or exercise to help soothe the problem.

- Shift the focus to another activity. The immediate situation or activity may have unintentionally caused the aggressive response. Try something different.

- Decrease level of danger. Assess the level of danger - for yourself and the person with Alzheimer’s. You can often avoid harm by simply stepping back and standing away from the person. If the person is headed out of the house and onto the street, be more assertive.

- Avoid using restraint or force. Unless the situation is serious, avoid physically holding or restraining the person. He or she may become more frustrated and cause personal harm.

- Behavioral and Psychiatric Symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease
- Behaviors - How to respond when Dementia causes unpredictable behaviors

(Souce: Alzheimer's Association -

Monday, 17 October 2011

Alzheimer's Aggression: When Disease Triggers Angry Behaviour

As I sped along the 10 Freeway toward a rapidly setting sun, an explosive grinding noise erupted to my right. My car swerved wildly, sliding across two lanes toward the center divider. I grappled with the steering wheel trying to regain control and glanced quickly toward my dad, sitting next to me.

In the fading light, I could see what had caused the problem: He had grabbed the gearshift and jerked the car into neutral.

“Let go!” I screamed. For a moment, we tussled over the stick, then I pulled it from him, jamming the car back into gear. “You can't do that while I'm driving,” I yelled. I took a deep breath, trying to calm down, and turned on the dome light. “It's me, your daughter Rosemary,” I said quietly.

He looked at me and blinked, suddenly aware of what he had done. “I didn't know it was you,” he said.

My dad, 91, had zoned out. The incident was a result of dementia, a disease that had left him confused and suffering from a dual personality.

Ninety percent of the time, he was the same wonderful man who had taught me how to ride a bike, dance a waltz and drive a car. He was friendly, compassionate, polite, understanding. The other 10% of the time, his behavior was irrational and sometimes aggressive.

Experts say it's unclear why aggressive or violent behavior sometimes develops among people with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. My near-accident in the car seems to be a relatively common phenomenon.

Newport Beach Psychologist Bonnie J. Olsen, who counsels Caregivers at UC Irvine's Senior Health Center, says she has heard of three similar vehicular incidents caused by people suffering from dementia. Other clients have been injured or narrowly escaped injury when a loved one became violent. One man picked up a ball from a pool table and heaved it at his wife; one woman turned over a heavy bookshelf onto her husband.

Contrary to stereotypes, the aggressors aren't always male. “I've seen tiny, frail-looking women do some serious damage,” Olsen said.

What causes the violence? According to the Alzheimer's Association, the behavior may be traced to fright or confusion. Patients may be frustrated because they can't understand others or make themselves understood. Or the disease may have eroded their judgment and self-control.

“Sometimes they misperceive things,” said Olsen, using as an example: “I put my purse right here. Someone must have hidden it from me.”

When the world is confusing, people sometimes lash out or act out, she said. The result may be verbal abuse, kicking, pinching or the occasional violent outburst aimed at people or property.

My dad occasionally drove his fingernails into my hand, pulled a necklace until it broke or squeezed my arm until I bruised. The injuries were all minor, and I don't think Dad would have seriously hurt me. But I was frightened enough to hide the knives in the kitchen.

I kept reminding myself that the disease was causing him to act this way. Life went on. He was happy with the caregivers who helped him during the day and usually happy with me when I took over after work. There weren't many problems.

In retrospect, I realize that when things went badly, I didn't handle the situation as well as I could have. I usually tried to explain things to him or reason with him, which didn't help.

Olsen tells clients to remember the acronym ARE, which stands for:

  • Do not argue.
  • Do not reason.
  • Do not explain.

She also advises to try to anticipate problems.

My dad's outbursts always took place late in the day, a syndrome called “sundowning.” It often results in agitation and increased confusion; some experts say it is caused by overexertion.

To counter it, I should have avoided confusing activities, such as trips in the car, at this time of day. Olsen suggests tranquil diversions: letting the person listen to soft music, watch a DVD that he or she likes or perhaps perform a simple chore.

And if the going gets especially rocky? “Leave the room,” Olsen says. “Close the door, and call for help. You need someone to diffuse the situation - a neighbour, a friend, a family member. Perhaps even the police.”

The bottom line is to make sure you're safe. That's the best thing you can do – for both of you.


The Alzheimer's Association suggests strategies for coping with aggressive or violent outbursts.

Among the Organization's Tips:

  • Stay calm. Don't get upset, and don't take it personally. Be positive and reassuring.
  • Back down. You can't negotiate with a person with dementia. If the person doesn't want to bathe or undress, let it go.
  • Apologize. It doesn't matter whose fault it is, take the blame.
  • Avoid using restraint or force. Unless the situation is serious, avoid holding or restraining the person. That will only add to his or her frustration.
(Source: Rosemary McClure, Alzheimer's Association)

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Fighting Memory Loss With iPads

Alzheimer's Disease Association (Singapore) Uses iPad to help battle memory loss won S$15,000 in Creativity Contest Among Welfare Organizations in Singapore.

MADAM Heng Kim Tow, a 97-year-old patient with Alzheimer's disease, has taken to using the iPad like a duck to water. She views the photographs of her family on the tablet computer, putting her back in touch with the people and events in her life, and plays an eye-hand coordination game of balancing a virtual egg on the screen of the device.

The iPad is not hers. It belongs to the Alzheimer's Disease Association (Singapore), which is using the device to slow down the deterioration of the illness among the senior citizens in its day-care centres.

Alzheimer's disease is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behaviour. The symptoms usually set in slowly and worsen over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks.

The association's consultant occupational therapist Lim Hwee Er, 39, stumbled accidentally on the usefulness of the iPad in reaching out to Alzheimer's at the New Horizon Centre in Toa Payoh and saw a new responsiveness in her. In quick order, two iPads were bought for the use of the senior citizens there.

Ms Lim said the money S$15,000 recently won in a competition to reward creativity among voluntary welfare organisations will go towards buying more iPads for its four day-care centres.

The other organisation which won $15,000 in the competition organised by the National Council of Social Service (NCSS) was the Lions Befrienders Service Association, for encouraging lonely elderly to become befrienders and to set up their own social networks.

Representatives of the two agencies received their prizes from Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports Chan Chun Sing in a ceremony that was a part of the NCSS Members Conference held at the Concorde Hotel.

In his speech to the 550 conference participants, Mr Chan said that as the population ages and as Singaporeans become more well-informed, the social service sector here must keep pace with the changes and evolve to meet increasingly complex demands. He encouraged the sector to experiment with new service models and adapt from best practices elsewhere. He also called on the sector to lay out a robust safety net so no one falls through the cracks, and to develop social service professionals.

Speaking to reporters later, he said that as challenges become more diverse, a "one-size-fits-all" model will not work for social service any more. This would encourage people in the sector to think creatively about how to get better bang for their buck and to be more productive, he added.