10 Alzheimer's Resolutions
There are any number of ways you can get involved with Alzheimer's at a number of different levels. Some require very little commitment, others are about lifestyle changes. Here are my top ten ideas.
1. Read a book, internet site or newspaper article about Alzheimer's. Try to
source a good newspaper that give you detailed and accurate information. One recent story relates to head injuries suffered by NFL players being linked to Alzheimer's and recently reported in Examiner.com. Another newspaper article FDA Approves New Generic Form of Aricept kept the reader informed about new treatments.
Books about Alzheimer's include:
The Alzheimer's Action Plan," P. Murali Doraiswamy, MD, Lisa Gwyther, MSW, and Tina Adler.
The Glass Seed: The Fragile Beauty of Heart, Mind & Memory, by Eileen Delehanty Pearkes. Both books are reviewed by Carol Bradley Bursack in A Daughter's Quest to Understand her Mother's Dementia
2. See a film about Alzheimer's. There are a number of good movies out on DVD, available over the internet and from local shops. Here are a few suggestions;
Julie Christie in ‘Away From Her' (2008).
Laura Linney in ‘The Savages' (2007).
Iris : A Memoir of Iris Murdock (2001).
Firefly Dreams, a Japanese film with subtitles (2001).
Read Leah's sharepost on her Emotional Response to Away from Her
3. Talk to people who have Alzheimer's or share one thought today about Alzheimer's on this HealthCentral site. We are very lucky to have Leah who has vascular dementia and writes on OurAlzheimer's. She exhibits many of the signs and symptoms that people with early Alzheimer's do.
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4. Caregivers: consider how you can be a better caregiver, by looking after your own needs as well as your loved one.
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5. Talk to someone who is a caregiver for Alzheimer's. Sharing information and experiences is one of the best means of educating yourself about Alzheimer's and finding someone who understands what you are going through.
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6. Think about planning for the future of your own healthcare or discuss as much as you can about the wishes of your loved one with Alzheimer's. Think about Power of Attorney and Living wills. Make a Will and Estate plan for you and your family. Resolve to put your plans into legal action.
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7. Top up on the latest research about Alzheimer's. There is research going on all the time looking into the causes and treatments for Alzheimer's disease. Some research is directly related to Alzheimer's, others are looking into related issues. Some activities, such as research into stem cells, DNA, and genetics change vertually day by day and may offer huge potential.
Staying up to date with information is empowering. It may give you new ideas for prevention, nursing care, and treatment options. It may help you communicate better and more effectively with the medical profession. Drug companies regularly look for volunteers to try new medications and join programmes for other therapies too.
8. Support a charity that advocates on behalf of people with Alzheimer's. For example, you could donate money, or offer to collect on their behalf, or volunteer for certain activities such as offering practical support to caregivers.
9. Review the treatment regime of your relative with Alzheimer's. Make regular visits with your loved one or get the doctor to review treatment. This should be done on a regular basis and a time frame agreed with your doctor. All people with Alzheimer's should be reviewed regularly.
10. Take action to prevent getting Alzheimer's yourself. There is a lot of information about the importance of reducing trans fats, reducing obesity, having a healthy blood pressure, a healthy diet, a healthy cardiovascular system, an active social life, with lots of mental activity. Do all that and you radically reduce your risk of Alzheimer's disease.