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View Full Version : Old age...Dementia, suggestions for activities!



prometheus
03-06-2016, 05:24 PM
Sorry for not being a topic of graphics or anything near related to that.

Though it may affect us all someday, and I am reaching out for some help suggestions from other folks that have been in the same situation.
My father is becoming 90 years old in the summer, but the latest 1.5 year..his mental health has been declining with dementia and loosing his speach.
To me it seems that the elderly care isnīt as good as I thought it should be, lack of personal resources and activity ideas.

I reckon my father is in a worse situation than the other elderly being more capable of activity and a bit more easier for the staff to handle, thus it seems he is spending most of his time in his room sleeping, a problem can be that he might be disturbing the others by clapping his hands on the table etc, thus they do not put him together with others sadly.

Just wondering, do you guys have any suggestions on activities, some sort of puzzle, games or something that may help activating the brain for him a bit more?
his motoric senses have been declining badly though, having shakes and hard to grasp and reach for things, just barely making it with eating by himself, he sometimes manages to get up by himself..but it may result in falling badly.

I donīt think he has that long time left to live though Ufortunatly, some day the end will come, but why not engage in sharing helpful advices to make life a bit more happier...until that day comes for each and one of us.

If you folks have any experience and advice about dementia and activities, I would be thankful for it.

Michael

RebelHill
03-06-2016, 06:10 PM
There is in honesty not much that can be done... when the mind goes, it goes... hard to take someone on a pleasant rtip down memory lane when their memory has been erased for example.

However, the most common pattern people suffer in demetia/alzeimers, etc is that the higher functioning parts of the brain go down while the more primordial parts suffer less (hence why when such folk become confused, or find themselves in a place they dont recognise they can still become afraid, aggressive, etc)... hence, often the best such things u can do are the kinds of activities or games that one would play with a child, who's mind hasnt yet developed... silly things that make u laugh... simple "find the whatever" games, where u get a treat when u win... stuff that can stimulate the reward centres of the brain. What were his favourite colours? Surround him with them... What were his favourite foods... stuff him full of them.

You can't activate the bits of his brain that have given out... those cells are dead or dying... but you can give him pleasant experiences and get him to feel happiness. If u can do that, hopefully ull find some catharsis for urself.

Bon chance.

prometheus
03-06-2016, 06:57 PM
There is in honesty not much that can be done... when the mind goes, it goes... hard to take someone on a pleasant rtip down memory lane when their memory has been erased for example.

However, the most common pattern people suffer in demetia/alzeimers, etc is that the higher functioning parts of the brain go down while the more primordial parts suffer less (hence why when such folk become confused, or find themselves in a place they dont recognise they can still become afraid, aggressive, etc)... hence, often the best such things u can do are the kinds of activities or games that one would play with a child, who's mind hasnt yet developed... silly things that make u laugh... simple "find the whatever" games, where u get a treat when u win... stuff that can stimulate the reward centres of the brain. What were his favourite colours? Surround him with them... What were his favourite foods... stuff him full of them.

You can't activate the bits of his brain that have given out... those cells are dead or dying... but you can give him pleasant experiences and get him to feel happiness. If u can do that, hopefully ull find some catharsis for urself.

Bon chance.


Thanks rebelhill for the advice, I am about to agree with you that not much can be done..though I wouldnīt be surprised there is at least some things that can be done, and maybe in the future we will find out more..it wouldnīt help my father, but perhaps ourself if and when we get there.
The brain seem to have a certain "plasticity" and functions can be taken over by other other neural areas, though queastionable if memory can be repeared, it would suggest a need for some sort of holographic neurons which projects memory on to other brain cells.
But I am suspecting other motoric functions or speach functions etc might be things that can be sustained or improved...one can see such things with people having strokes and how the rehabilitates, I might be wrong..just what I read somewhere and heard from some scientific shows.

surrounding my father with things he likes to eat, favourite foods..thatīs tricky, he now has trouble eating food if it isnīt passed with jelly or something, or simple soups, so he just canīt eat what he likes, and itīs up to the elderly care kitchen to decide what he getīs, so it may be a question about what they can afford.

Our commune has started a quality program which should be in progress to understand and enhance the elderly care for people also having age dementia, but I donīt think they have come that far with it, things to note would of course be what food they get, the stuff my father getīs ..didnīt taste good ..nor did it have a pleasent constistence texture..in fact, if I would have tried to eat it up all..I would get womiting feelings, so I guess we need to complain about that.
Then they need some sort of activity responsible person, and schedule such activities...that may be hard due to lack of personal, and also those who really knows what they are doing.

You are right about stuffing him with things that may have made him happy, though it is tricky nowadays, in life he wasnīt much of a happy positive man, and now itīs very hard to get reactions from jokes etc.probably becuase he often donīt understand it..it must be quite simple etc.
Elders with dementia often find themself thinking about their childhood, to such extent they believe they are in that time..so yes..one can hear him sometimes talk about his child hood loves or other things where he grew up, which I donīt know much about.

He has also lost the social behavior...things we learn to suppress, so he can shout out really dirty words that would chock folks around, but I think that in his mind he do not see any fault or shame of it.

Guess we need to try and get better food for him if possible, not easy when he often throws up the food, and when the spring comes soon..try to get more outside with fresh air and some more sunlight, the tricky part is finding out activities that he could work on, my sister brought on some lego style puzzle which he seemed to enjoy, and he said..good excercise for the fingers at least.
Catīs he enjoys very much and feeding birds, unfortunatly we can not bring cats to the elderly care, and itīs also difficult to bring him to our homes where we have the cats..it takes a lot of work and he may not like the travel part either.

djwaterman
03-06-2016, 07:04 PM
If he was into music and you know what sort he liked, particularly stuff from his younger days, it has been known to help bring people out of their stupor when they are played such music from their time. I don't know if it relates to dementia but old age generally.

prometheus
03-06-2016, 07:13 PM
If he was into music and you know what sort he liked, particularly stuff from his younger days, it has been known to help bring people out of their stupor when they are played such music from their time. I don't know if it relates to dementia but old age generally.

He never was much interested in music, sure some tunes perhaps..Unfortunatly I donīt know much about what he liked..but thanks for reminding me of that, will try and see if my sister or brothers recall that better, then get those tune on to a portable computer...the russian anthem and lili marlene goes home with him :) ..that I know, some classicals too..but not sure which ones, and some other swedish tunes..will have to take a look.

Thanks.

c.1
03-06-2016, 07:49 PM
Perhaps going over any old photographs with your father may trigger some good memories. He may recognize peoples faces from the past or places he used to go.
This could also be of benifit to you, when my father passsed away not too long ago I was left with boxes, and boxes of old b/w pictures from Germany and England. I have no idea who the people are or even where or when they were taken.
I wish I could of had a chance to go over these pictures with my father and now all the information is lost for ever

prometheus
03-06-2016, 08:28 PM
Perhaps going over any old photographs with your father may trigger some good memories. He may recognize peoples faces from the past or places he used to go.
This could also be of benifit to you, when my father passsed away not too long ago I was left with boxes, and boxes of old b/w pictures from Germany and England. I have no idea who the people are or even where or when they were taken.
I wish I could of had a chance to go over these pictures with my father and now all the information is lost for ever

Yes..that is something one might need to take care of before it is too late, I really never had any super good relation with my father, thus it turned out that way that I had not much of interest of finding out more about old acquaintance, but strangely that
interest has changed more and more towards time..knowing that one might want to find out more about ancestors etc.

Unfortunatly I think it has started to become too late, he is in such state that he mixes up persons, and connects people just randomly..he could get in to his mind that I am the king..and suddenly he can see mee being on the televisio..and another day he could talk about the royal family being the same as his daughter etc..so itīs a mess sometimes, but it can also vary..and for a few minutes he can be perfectly clear and knows the exact date when something happened in the second world war ..but such moments has been more and more rare now for each month.

Michael

jwiede
03-06-2016, 09:05 PM
The brain seem to have a certain "plasticity" and functions can be taken over by other other neural areas, though queastionable if memory can be repeared, it would suggest a need for some sort of holographic neurons which projects memory on to other brain cells.
But I am suspecting other motoric functions or speach functions etc might be things that can be sustained or improved...one can see such things with people having strokes and how the rehabilitates, I might be wrong..just what I read somewhere and heard from some scientific shows.

As we've seen repeatedly with traumatic brain injury recoveries, stroke recoveries, etc. the healthy brain has tremendous plasticity. Unfortunately, your father's brain is under attack, suffering serious dysfunction, and as a result its tissue lacks many of the properties associated with healthy brain tissue. Plasticity is simply not that reasonable an expectation under those circumstances. There is some evidence that exercising brain plasticity at the early signs of Alzheimers can delay its progress, but it sounds like your father is past the point where such efforts are likely to yield useful results.

It's not a bad idea for improving elderly care, mind you, it just might be too late for it to do much w.r.t. your father's quality of life. In any case, it's worth giving it a try. I'd recommend approaching it in a manner similar to RH's suggestion, focusing on plasticity exercises, etc. that would normally be more appropriate for a child in order to better keep your father engaged.

RebelHill
03-06-2016, 09:51 PM
yeah... as JW says... dementias are different to strokes n similar, there's no single "event" which can be "healed", and furthermore, what happens during dementia/alzheimers is that the connections between brain cells (the synapses) are being interrupted or broken by whatever mechanism (neurofibrillary tangles, prions, etc... the jury's still out on the exact operation in each different class or patient)... basically new connections cant form for the same reason existing connections are being cut. Plasticity has, in essence, vanished.

If u know he was a lover of cats... get him a stuffed cat (as in a plush toy, not like a taxidermy thing).

prometheus
03-06-2016, 11:42 PM
yeah... as JW says... dementias are different to strokes n similar, there's no single "event" which can be "healed", and furthermore, what happens during dementia/alzheimers is that the connections between brain cells (the synapses) are being interrupted or broken by whatever mechanism (neurofibrillary tangles, prions, etc... the jury's still out on the exact operation in each different class or patient)... basically new connections cant form for the same reason existing connections are being cut. Plasticity has, in essence, vanished.

If u know he was a lover of cats... get him a stuffed cat (as in a plush toy, not like a taxidermy thing).

jwiede and RebelHill , I concur with your thoughts around this, and it sounds most reasonable that my father may have come to a stage where the plasticity repearability, may not be able to do itīs magic.

Yeah...some kind of surrogate cat toy perhaps, I know in japan and also here in sweden in some communes, they have introduced a robotic seal, and also a robotic cat, one may think that it is offending for them, or that one is fooling them somehow...but if that makes them happier?

Heck ..I recall buying a toycat to a girlfriend as a present..it had some artificial fur and it was laying in a basket looking cute, I recall we were petting the cat together..and we felt good by doing so :) weird...perhaps I should get one for myself since I am allergic to them, and I so would like to have one, we did have one for 18 years when I was a kid, though at that time I guess my body was customed to the allergens or something.

It raises a question on how my father would react to such a fake cat, would he be offended? or sad that it isnīt a real cat?..etc.
http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-35310200

spherical
03-06-2016, 11:53 PM
Hey, Michael. Saw your thread and it snapped me back a few years. My father got to 96. When he went to get his driver's license renewed some years earlier, he was delighted that it would next be renewed when he reached 100! He was a pilot, as am I, and I was surprised one day many years ago when he stopped flying. During his last year, likewise, he abruptly stopped driving and sold his truck. Both times I was very proud and appreciative that he took a responsible, respectful and pragmatic approach to those activities that he loves so much; especially the flying. I remember him saying once that if he couldn't drive, he wouldn't want to live any longer. He didn't. My regret, like c.1, is that I didn't invest more time with him, even at the long distances that separated us, to learn more about my ancestors and his health issues in later life. Often, I feel myself wanting to call him to ask if he experienced this or that and realize that he isn't going to be on the other end of the phone. I can still talk to him, although I don't know if he hears me. He is here, now, in a small box. We're closer together now, but ever so much farther apart. I have to stop typing now. I can no longer see the screen clearly. My wish for you and he is that you can spend as much time together as you can. He'll love it and so will you.

RebelHill
03-07-2016, 12:02 AM
I recall buying a toycat to a girlfriend as a present..it had some artificial fur and it was laying in a basket looking cute, I recall we were petting the cat together..and we felt good by doing so :) weird

Not really... we do "project" feelings towards things. Real cats for sure dont have human levels of cognition (awareness, foresight, reflection, etc)... but we project those qualities onto them, so its little surprise that we can also come to "love" what is essentially nothing more than a bag of cotton wool. And ofc, its our own development of such sentiment that itself has a theraputic effect on us.


It raises a question on how my father would react to such a fake cat, would he be offended? or sad that it isnīt a real cat?..etc.

Only one way to find out... take it round, pull it out the carrier bag and exclaim "look what I got you"... he'll either smile, or turn his nose up at it. Worst case scenario, you're Ģ15 out of pocket (or whatever the sek equivalent is).

prometheus
03-07-2016, 12:13 AM
My wish for you and he is that you can spend as much time together as you can. He'll love it and so will you.

Thanks..nice to see your father getting that old anyway.
I can only hope my father appreciates me when I show up there, though..I must honestly say, that for me..I should perhaps have visited him more, before he had gotten to this state..last time he mostly sleept and didnītrespond much to what I said at all, I think that he may sometimes not recognize me or thinks I am someone else, in my youth and also later in life, my relationship with him wasnīt good..it became better though once he got older...so there isnīt a deep connection between him and me, but he is after all still my father, and there are feelings there..but I can honestly not say that I appreciate spending time with him nowadays...when he no longer responds that much, the hours mostly consist of watching him trying to say something and figure out what he says, or just listening to mumblings or watch him trying to eat without spilling or throwing it up.

For me who donīt believe in any afterlife, I know it will not bring any comfort for me trying to imagine that, Great for you though.
Thanks spherical for sharing your thoughts and the story about your father.

meshpig
03-07-2016, 12:15 AM
Yes, the brain is capable of remarkable recovery but not apparently in the case of AD. The fact that AD is also the most common form of dementia is interesting too because my genetic eye disease, e.g. is most often grouped with the most common form where mine is actually extremely rare.

I wouldn't be scared to speculate that common mental illness, the way it is shaped descends further into causal factors affecting brain chemistry. People with Korsakov's syndrome for example have done some pretty obvious damage yet are often less affected than those with the generic AD?

- 90 is OK. I hope my Father doesn't live that long:)

spherical
03-07-2016, 12:18 AM
Real cats for sure dont have human levels of cognition (awareness, foresight, reflection, etc)... but we project those qualities onto them,

You would be really surprised..... You're selling them short and evidently haven't experienced as many cats over the years as I have.

prometheus
03-07-2016, 12:20 AM
Not really... we do "project" feelings towards things. Real cats for sure dont have human levels of cognition (awareness, foresight, reflection, etc)... but we project those qualities onto them, so its little surprise that we can also come to "love" what is essentially nothing more than a bag of cotton wool. And ofc, its our own development of such sentiment that itself has a theraputic effect on us.



Only one way to find out... take it round, pull it out the carrier bag and exclaim "look what I got you"... he'll either smile, or turn his nose up at it. Worst case scenario, you're Ģ15 out of pocket (or whatever the sek equivalent is).


Yes..true..I thought it could be perceived as weird, but I agree with you... and itīs probably also imprinted since we were kids..when most of us had our own teddy bear.
With a risk of spinning off topic, to another topic of AI and robotics...
substitute for something missing or lost..


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JMvs5f0Mks

spherical
03-07-2016, 12:28 AM
in my youth and also later in life, my relationship with him wasnīt good..it became better though once he got older...so there isnīt a deep connection between him and me, but he is after all still my father, and there are feelings there.

This was much the same with me. Always a gulf that existed; a distant connection, if you will. I knew that he loved me and always do his very best for me. Outward affection was difficult for both of us and that made the gulf appear and widen. One day, I decided that the next tie I visited my parents, before I left I would do something positive in that regard. We visited for some hours and, upon getting up to leave, I gulped, held my breath and advanced to him, wrapped my arms around him and held on; scared half to death. I felt him tense, then pause, then relax and his arms slowly wrapped around me. Seemed an eternity.\, but was only a minute or so. From that day forward, we could express our feelings to one another in the way that we should have for decades. I don't feel that anything was lost; just postponed.

JonW
03-07-2016, 12:35 AM
Interesting food.

If he is still capable of swallowing. Food..... what did he like eating as a kid? Take him to a cafe once a week. Failing that bring him the food he likes. Make up a pretend picnic basket to have in the nursing home, maybe in a courtyard if they have one.

My Dad liked pies & pasties, also nice cakes as well (he had all his teeth until the end, lucky bastard!). Leave a dodgy bag (extra food) for the next day or so, packaged nicely!

prometheus
03-07-2016, 12:38 AM
This was much the same with me. Always a gulf that existed; a distant connection, if you will. I knew that he loved me and always do his very best for me. Outward affection was difficult for both of us and that made the gulf appear and widen. One day, I decided that the next tie I visited my parents, before I left I would do something positive in that regard. We visited for some hours and, upon getting up to leave, I gulped, held my breath and advanced to him, wrapped my arms around him and held on; scared half to death. I felt him tense, then pause, then relax and his arms slowly wrapped around me. Seemed an eternity.\, but was only a minute or so. From that day forward, we could express our feelings to one another in the way that we should have for decades. I don't feel that anything was lost; just postponed.

Thanks for sharing that emotional moment, I havenīt been able to connect in that manner..so much old emotions and feelings..like a gulf between us, I can regognize those feelings indeed, so physical contact with him has been hard..I can at least pat him on his back, or if he feels bad, stroke his head ..also to check for fever etc, pat his legs and make sure he feels ok and isnīt freezing etc, hopefully he feels good about that..but hugs..very hard.

JonW
03-07-2016, 12:38 AM
I forgot. He might like a beer! Which you might need to sneak in!

prometheus
03-07-2016, 12:42 AM
Interesting food.

If he is still capable of swallowing. Food..... what did he like eating as a kid? Take him to a cafe once a week. Failing that bring him the food he likes. Make up a pretend picnic basket to have in the nursing home, maybe in a courtyard if they have one.

My Dad liked pies & pasties, also nice cakes as well (he had all his teeth until the end, lucky bastard!). Leave a dodgy bag (extra food) for the next day or so, packaged nicely!

He can hardly get any food in without coughing it up, there are rare occasions when he actually swallows normal food and donīt cough it up, I think he likes cakes, like birthday cakes etc..that seems to go through without any major issues..not sure what it is that makes him throw up his food, I need to read up on dysphagia.

Beer? he..no, he never drank any beer as I know of, as an old cop, he was in some sobriety society, never drinking alcohol, until after pension when he could at least just taste some red wine, or punch..but still not much.
and itīs the same with me, do not drink beer..donīt like the taste of it, only some cider a few times a year, and baileys standing on my night table in case I would get a cold or something.

cheers.

Michael

JonW
03-07-2016, 12:47 AM
My old man had parkinson's and couldn't swallow. Not nice. But surprisingly he seemed to be able to swallow things he licked!!!???

Can you get him in a wheelchair and take him around the block for a change of scenery?

JonW
03-07-2016, 12:55 AM
The food he likes may not help his health, but it's better he gets some enjoyment over a few extra days! Sorry if I'm being blunt, but all four, parents & parents in law (Germany (crap heath system)) are "X parrots", it's a tough time!

Wish you all the best.

meshpig
03-07-2016, 01:23 AM
I remember doing a stretch in a Nursing home in Collaroy as a catering consultant years ago. Rejigging the regethermics... babies eat better, money wasted on consultants. Makes you wonder about euthanasia.

prometheus
03-07-2016, 01:41 AM
My old man had parkinson's and couldn't swallow. Not nice. But surprisingly he seemed to be able to swallow things he licked!!!???

Can you get him in a wheelchair and take him around the block for a change of scenery?

yes..I did that last years summer, but we do not have warm australia weather here, but when we do..itīs only for a short time..I just hope he hangs on for at least two or three months till the summer arrives, it will be too cold until then.then itīs ok to take the wheelchair, and go for a route, finding birds to feed with bread, and occasionally grab a little icecream, that he likes.

JonW
03-07-2016, 01:48 AM
but we do not have warm australia weather here,


A couple of weeks ago, bush (forrest) fires in Tasmania & snow on Mt Wellington in Hobart!

Kaptive
03-07-2016, 02:12 AM
Hi Michael,

Going back to DJs post, one of the very best things you can do is to find music that he liked. I know you said this might be a hard task, but it is one of the few things that connects them and can reach them despite regressions. With him reaching the amazing age of 90, it does make it a bit harder, as you'd be looking for music from around the war period (when he was in his late teens/early 20s).
As an alternative, was he ever into films? Is there a soundtrack from a film he likes you can find? Or the film itself?

It's a really difficult thing to deal with, but more than anything just try to give him a sense of relaxation by staying calm (and trying to keep anyone else visiting calm too). As spherical said, contact, just holding his hand can do much.
The thing is, every person is different and what works for one might not work for another. But making his environment as calming and safe feeling as possible is going to have universal effect, because losing control can be a bit scary for anyone.

Anyways, I wish you the absolute best. It's one of those things that is difficult for both the person suffering and those around them too. You've always seemed pretty resourceful though and plenty of energy, so I'm sure you'll find some ways to lighten his days :)

meshpig
03-07-2016, 03:05 AM
... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57bpaP6lLRg

prometheus
03-07-2016, 05:08 AM
Hi Michael,

Going back to DJs post, one of the very best things you can do is to find music that he liked. I know you said this might be a hard task, but it is one of the few things that connects them and can reach them despite regressions. With him reaching the amazing age of 90, it does make it a bit harder, as you'd be looking for music from around the war period (when he was in his late teens/early 20s).
As an alternative, was he ever into films? Is there a soundtrack from a film he likes you can find? Or the film itself?

It's a really difficult thing to deal with, but more than anything just try to give him a sense of relaxation by staying calm (and trying to keep anyone else visiting calm too). As spherical said, contact, just holding his hand can do much.
The thing is, every person is different and what works for one might not work for another. But making his environment as calming and safe feeling as possible is going to have universal effect, because losing control can be a bit scary for anyone.

Anyways, I wish you the absolute best. It's one of those things that is difficult for both the person suffering and those around them too. You've always seemed pretty resourceful though and plenty of energy, so I'm sure you'll find some ways to lighten his days :)

Yes...thanks, music will be on the agenda, will try and look for some stuff and show on the computer, my brother has possesion of all the films my father was shooting of us when we were kids, so we got movies back from the days when my sister was born, and sheīs 62 now, though I guess he might be tired of those movies now :)

I need to discuss this more with my siblings, I know of a few movies and music..itīs not much though.
he always enjoyed watching second world war documentaries, himself being a corpral at the end of the second world war...sweden was inoffically neutral, so no direct involvement except he had to guard train station when some germans got permission to travel through sweden to norway, got orders and instructions in german "stoppen oder wir schießen" the germans werenīt allowed to leave the trains.
But unfortunatly he doesnīt seem to have the energy or interest to follow even that no more...so itīs hard, even if you find something he may not have the energy for it, this may of course vary depending on when I can see him, and depending on if he just have been sleeping or is up and eating.

I hope this thread may be of service for those of us having our parents still with us, and probably will have to confront this issue..if dementia affects them that is, also hoping I can get him to feel as comfortable he can feel at that age... and with that declining health in the end of his days.

Michael

roboman
03-07-2016, 08:24 AM
When my ex wife was going to grad school to become a shrink, she took part in a study that became http://www.lumosity.com/ . They were working on ways to get the brain to find ways around damage and function as well as it had or better. Results are a bit hard to quantify. She had a head injury and got better, did she get 'more' better then she would have with just normal healing? They seemed to think so. They also seemed to think it slowed down the losses caused by old age and physical problems. Lots of studies show that doing new and mostly different mental things help. There does seem to be some truth to that, but no magic, just the normal biological tendency that things that get used by the body tend to get stronger or at least are a little more supported by the body. Don't know as that site is a magic answer, but doing mental things, that are different from the normal things you do, does seem to help. Just doing things seems to help.

I remember when my grand mother was getting bad. She has lost her grip on reality, but the days she talked to people, and told them stories, it seemed to make life work better. I don't think the 90 year old lady in the room next door really had a baby the night before, but telling the story in detail did seem to get what brain function was still working loosened up. If you got her thinking and the rest of the day went better and she functioned better that day.

RudySchneider
03-07-2016, 08:33 AM
My mother passed away at 93 last May, and because she had had a couple of transient ischemic attacks (TIA, kind of a "mini" stroke) several years prior, her mental faculties were affected. We'd had her in an assisted living facility, along with her companion cat, and often visited to take her out to dinner or to a nursery or gardens. In her prime, she had quite the green thumb, and the garden of our house was once featured in Sunset magazine due to her talents. To keep her mind active, we'd recount stories and trips we'd taken together as a family, and her eyes would open with acknowledgement and she'd always perk up. Even though she often had trouble coming up with words, we played a lot of Scrabble to keep her mind active.

Toward the end, she took a couple of falls, was sent to the hospital a couple of more times, where they couldn't find any real damage. But the last time she went in, it was like she had flipped an internal switch; she became far more confused and developed dysphagia. We would encourage her to eat, but she'd just be staring us in the face, nodding her head, but with the food just sitting there in her mouth. She got to the point where she actually forgot how to swallow. It was not long after that that she passed.

It can be frustrating and maddening to care for a parent in the same way as they treated you as a child, and to not be able to "fix" it. The best thing you can do is just to be there for them.

erikals
03-07-2016, 04:40 PM
thank you all for sharing

what music can do...


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2LNOUPFSro


i was also happy to see that people with next to no communication skills left almost always have much higher intelligence than previously though. (according to new 2014 science and brain scans) (sorry, no link atm)

i'm so afraid of loss, it just feels so empty... they say time heals
but without loss, i guess it would be empty too.

djwaterman
03-07-2016, 07:53 PM
Someone punked that video and dubbed in the hood tunes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FWn4JB2YLU

spherical
03-07-2016, 10:12 PM
i was also happy to see that people with next to no communication skills left almost always have much higher intelligence than previously though. (according to new 2014 science and brain scans)

Witness Stephen Hawking. He and a team of engineers and scientists created a system to allow his thoughts to get out and be communicated. Lacking that system (and forgetting for the moment our knowledge of his story), would we now recognize that he is trapped inside his brain; still as intelligent as ever? If he had not this system, I'm sure that he would have sunk into some really dark places; and what a loss that would have been. His own personal black hole; from which nothing, not even thought, can escape. A terrifying thought, to be sure.

prometheus
03-08-2016, 12:41 AM
There is most certainly a difference between those getting a stroke or an injury, then recovering...from that of an old human being degenerating, as Rebelhill pointed out too I think.
Getting old is affecting everything in the body I suspect, and vital organs arenīt doing their thing to support the brain either that much, probably resulting in lack of plasticity repearing itself.

This might not be related, anyone remembering Lorenzos Oil, movie and real life story? fascinating story about a boy who got some sort of degenerative decise, causing his neural cells to shut down, and his father and mother never gave up, investigated everything and finally together with other doctors I think, managed to find a recipe of destilling oliv oil to extract some sort of acid that helped regenerate the myalin sheath around the nerves, the boy got much better for a while.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lorenzo's_Oil

If it only could have been that easy with feeding our aging parents with oliv oil, blueberry soup etc :) but itīs not that simple.

One is sure getting a reminder on taking actions for oneself right now, making sure to keep a healthy weight, excercise, eating healthy ..anti oxidants etc, okinawa diets perharps :)

Michael.

jeric_synergy
03-08-2016, 01:15 AM
Prom, I saw some studies a while back (sorry for the vagueness) that related some pretty amazing results from massage for geriatric patients. If your father can tolerate massage (use a specialist) it may help to a surprising degree.

erikals
03-08-2016, 01:30 AM
telomerase does extend life, but too much can cause cancer
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/aging-too-much-telomerase-can-be-as-bad-as-too-little

or young blood (!)
http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2014/05/young-blood-renews-old-mice?rss=1

prometheus
03-08-2016, 01:56 AM
Prom, I saw some studies a while back (sorry for the vagueness) that related some pretty amazing results from massage for geriatric patients. If your father can tolerate massage (use a specialist) it may help to a surprising degree.


Thanks jeric, I will take that up for discussion with the elderly care, maybe make sure they have it on a regular basis..if they got the resources that is, I have to talk with them about the elderly care quality and the garanties they recently promised to live up too.



telomerase does extend life, but too much can cause cancer
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/aging-too-much-telomerase-can-be-as-bad-as-too-little

or young blood (!)
http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2014/05/young-blood-renews-old-mice?rss=1


Thanks erikals, interesting article, I knew a little about that and the telomere, length... and that it could cause cancer as a side effect, It is exiting though that they are learning so much, maybe someday overcome many aging factors.
That got me thinking of the ol sci-fi blade runner, where the replicants wanted more life, but it wasnīt possible..because if they tried to ..it would raise a mutation and the subject would die.

JonW
03-08-2016, 02:36 AM
ABC TV Catalyst - Music on the brain

http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/4421003.htm

inkpen3d
03-14-2016, 04:01 AM
http://medicalxpress.com/news/2016-03-blueberries-well-known-super-fruit-alzheimer.html

JonW
03-14-2016, 04:51 AM
To lighten the tone for just a moment, have a listen to Chook the lyrebird impersonating power tools and dying car battery.

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/pocketdocs/chook-in-memorium/7232952

prometheus
03-14-2016, 11:59 AM
http://medicalxpress.com/news/2016-03-blueberries-well-known-super-fruit-alzheimer.html

Yes..I knew that about blueberries, and I myself are talking o lot of juice and yogourt containing blueberries, will probably try and increase that intake with pie and fresh picked ones more often too.
I reckon one needs quite a lot of it though, and for a long time, I think ivé mentioned that now and then for the care takers, but I do not think they provide a daily dose of that for them, problably they may not think of it as
..will it help, and probably it would be to expensive.

So maybe if we as relatives may buy something.., he gets a lot of nutrition drinks..but I donīt think that is the same, then itīs a question...is it to late ..or may he in fact get a bit better in the mind by that?

Michael

erikals
03-14-2016, 12:11 PM
as far as i understood, people with dementia get a little better by using it,

while it has no effect on those not having any symptoms

jeric_synergy
03-14-2016, 12:22 PM
There might be subclinical effects lost in the noise that the blueberries would suppress. I'd take that, because blueberries are delicious.

erikals
03-14-2016, 12:32 PM
I'd take that, because blueberries are delicious.

they are also super-high on anti oxidants

prometheus
03-14-2016, 02:29 PM
they are also super-high on antibiotics

anti oxidant..that I knew, but antibiotics was new too me, but after looking it up..it seems to be correct, guess I need to read up on this super fruit and perhaps to a raid in the forest in late juli I guess.

frozen blueberries in stores?..well..not sure they retain their healthy properties or not, I know that our department for disease control...have recommended that all frozen berries from stores should be boiled at least one minute, they suspected
hepatite..maybe caused by wild animals etc.

so I am not keen on buying frozen berries, I would prefer them as they are when defrosted, perhaps on icecream or in a bowl of milk...so I donīt know.

Just bought me the super juice, with blueberry and acacie...though I suspect they are not so healthy in other ways, they contain around 28% sugar per glas,(2dl)which is quite a lot,
just noticed..Grape juice 80% 2.5% blueberry pure, and 11,5% blueberry juice, acai juice 1% ,blackcurrants 5%.
Think it might be better to get som frozen ones perhaps and not a mix of juices and pure.

erikals
03-14-2016, 04:59 PM
sorry, meant anti oxidants (oops)
seems they can extract some stuff and use blueberries instead of anti biotics

but, i meant anti oxidants...

erikals
03-14-2016, 05:02 PM
frozen blueberries in stores?
i read up on this just a few weeks ago, actually often vegetables at least, are better preserved frozen than the regular.
as regular food gets exposed to a lot of temperature changes over a long period of time.

blueberries in jars, probably the best. (has sugar though)

prometheus
03-14-2016, 05:55 PM
i read up on this just a few weeks ago, actually often vegetables at least, are better preserved frozen than the regular.
as regular food gets exposed to a lot of temperature changes over a long period of time.

blueberries in jars, probably the best. (has sugar though)

Yeah..too much sugar probably, and so is my bought juice, I still buy them ..fooled by the superjuice marketing trick:, too much sugar in them and probably not very much of true blueberry in there.
Best would be to go out and pick a hell of a lot of berries on yourself late summer, rinse them very well ...not sure how much risc of hepatite there would be from those?

boiling berries? not sure how much of vitamins and anti oxidants are being destroyed by that?

erikals
03-14-2016, 06:56 PM
boiling berries? not sure how much of vitamins and anti oxidants are being destroyed by that?

found info that a lot of the A-O / vitamins effect got lost if they where smashed and boiled
not sure how much. it still had much better A-O quality than fruits though.

so still good, just not as super.

more blue info,
http://www.naturalnews.com/025516_blueberries_antioxidant_milk.html#
https://authoritynutrition.com/10-proven-benefits-of-blueberries

prometheus
03-15-2016, 05:35 AM
found info that a lot of the A-O / vitamins effect got lost if they where smashed and boiled
not sure how much. it still had much better A-O quality than fruits though.

so still good, just not as super.

more blue info,
http://www.naturalnews.com/025516_blueberries_antioxidant_milk.html#
https://authoritynutrition.com/10-proven-benefits-of-blueberries

Blah..now itīs not good with milk...sigh, and I just love that combo...itīs tricky to know what you should eat and how you should eat it to get the max effect of it and not destroying the important factors.
Thanks for the links, itīs really an investment for ones life...doing research and following healthy advices.

JonW
03-15-2016, 06:19 AM
A year ago other half had her blood checked for all sorts of things. We eat a reasonably high percentage of veggies about a 1/4 of which are organic but only because they taste better. The only frozen veggies we eat are baby peas. Most of our veggies do sit around a bit & maybe even way too long as we only get to a farmers market every second week. We buy extra locally for the things that will not last like lettuce. All her readings were excellent & her doctor was more than happy. We must be eating a bit too much spinach etc! We do not take any supplements. We haven't used a microwave for a decade either!

prometheus
03-15-2016, 08:28 AM
A year ago other half had her blood checked for all sorts of things. We eat a reasonably high percentage of veggies about a 1/4 of which are organic but only because they taste better. The only frozen veggies we eat are baby peas. Most of our veggies do sit around a bit & maybe even way too long as we only get to a farmers market every second week. We buy extra locally for the things that will not last like lettuce. All her readings were excellent & her doctor was more than happy. We must be eating a bit too much spinach etc! We do not take any supplements. We haven't used a microwave for a decade either!

Whats wrong with a microwave?

GregMalick
03-15-2016, 09:25 AM
With my mother, when she is tired, there is a lot of confusion and loss of cognizance.
When she is well rested, she is much better.

She now takes a lot of naps during the day.

You probably already know all this.

inkpen3d
03-15-2016, 10:01 AM
Regarding antioxidants: These mop up free radicals which are produced all the time by cells and are a natural consequence of having a high metabolic rate. Whilst an excess of free radicals can damage healthy cells, it should also be noted that free radicals are used by the body's own defence mechanisms to destroy rogue cells such as cancer. So excessive intake of antioxidants will decrease the body's effectiveness at destroying cancer cells thus raising the risk of tumours.

Regarding frozen/boiled vegetables: Counterintuitavely, you actually get more nutritional value from frozen and boiled vegetables because both processes break down the tough cell walls and make the nutrients inside the cells accessible for absorption by the gut. Obviously, excessive boiling will destroy vitamins, etc.

Same principals apply to microwaving food. Microwaves have little or no deleterious effects on the nutritional value of food unless you overcook it.

erikals
03-15-2016, 11:21 AM
Obviously, excessive boiling will destroy vitamins, etc.

i always steam the vegetables, tastes much better too

if the broccoli for example is boiled / steamed for too long, it's color will go more towards brown.
the color of should be as green as possible to my knowledge.

JonW
03-15-2016, 04:43 PM
We were steaming anyway, so we just ended up steaming everything. Food texture is so much better, flavour is better as well. You just add the veggies in order of the length of time they need cooking. We don't like murdered veggies (boiled, steamed & pressure cooked!).

Another easy thing for nice food, is much your own salad dressing.

It is easy & makes the bought dressing taste like poison, really! & it's healthy. 1/2 to 1 garlic clove, 1/2 lemon or lime, crush garlic with a few pinches of salt. A table spoon of quality olive oil (ratio to your own preference), & for sweetness about a third of an orange. A teaspoon of Dill (we use half dried & half fresh Dill that we keep pre chopped & frozen). A touch of Paprika but not necessary. For a bit of variety replace the lemon with a small amount of balsamic vinegar. Another option is add a small teaspoon of quality mayonnaise to the dressing when using lemon or lime, don't over do it as you don't want the mayonnaise to dominate.

I made a dressing at a friend's place once, they almost had a coronary, it's not possible they said!....... BS I said!

Tastes better, easy, no refined sugar.

Sorry for the cooking lesson, but people enjoy food more when using real food that is not processed! These days I can easily taste processed food, it all has this underlying taste, not nice!

Finally, unplug your microwave!

JonW
03-15-2016, 04:47 PM
broccoli for example is boiled / steamed for too long, it's color will go more towards brown.
the color of should be as green as possible to my knowledge.

If one wants nice green looking veggies, once cooked dunk them in a bowl of cold water for 1 or 2 seconds.

To keep them warm pre heat dinner plates with hot water a few minutes before serving.

Rayek
03-15-2016, 11:56 PM
Same principals apply to microwaving food. Microwaves have little or no deleterious effects on the nutritional value of food unless you overcook it.

As far as I have read in research, microwaves create pockets of high heat which cause the formation of body-alien proteins. After eating microwaved food, ones white cell count increases, it seems.

It seems to indicate that one is better off avoiding microwaved food.

jeric_synergy
03-16-2016, 12:29 AM
Sounds like woo-woo science. Got some cites?

Rayek
03-16-2016, 12:38 AM
Tastes better, easy, no refined sugar.



Sugars intake (whether refined, natural, or processed) is (very probably) the main reason for the obesity and health crisis in the West. The sugar lobby was unfortunately able to detour the discussion to fat and caloric intake, which meant even more sugar was put into processed foods (since removing fat from food makes it taste like cardboard, and the replacement for flavour was... more sugars!).

Interestingly enough the sugar industry employs the identical tactics as the ones used by the tabacco industry decades ago. I believe thirty-forty years ago dietary scientists realized the abysmal poisonous effects of high sugar intake on the human body, and began to warn the politicians of this unmitigated disaster that was in progress. The sugar lobby took action world-wide to discredit that research, obscured, confused matters, and completely redirected the discussion to the false claims that fats and calories are the culprits. Not sugar. Sugar is healthy! It gives you energy! Obesity is merely caused by a lack of exercise!

Even Michelle Obama fell for this well-established ploy: obfuscate matters, then befriend the enemy. Which is what the sugar lobby did. Michelle started to focus on a campaign of exercise for kids (instead of processed food and sugar related issues): well meant, but ultimately futile. Who can blame her? She was thrown in the midst of the lions' den. Poor Michelle. She never stood a chance.

We now know that there are actually GOOD and BAD calories. Again, it is in the interest of the the processed food and sugar industry to avoid making that distinction at all costs.

What is more, exercise is futile as an answer to obesity caused by the massive sugar (fructose) intake seen in most of the population: the liver can process about 7 teaspoons of sugars a day - anymore is directly converted to fat (bit of a simplification of the process: there is a vast difference between glucose and FRUCTOSE - fructose is the main offender, while glucose is 80% converted directly to energy for our cells, and 20% is directly stored in our liver for later use).

A person may exercise all day long for hours on end, but it still will not suffice to burn away high-fructose sugar foods. The problem is that fructose is used in so many foods - and with reason: it is more addictive than cocaine. And many natural sugars such as cane sugar, honey, date sugar, brown rice syrup, agave syrup, turbinado, sucranat, and more: all of these contain high amounts of fructose. These fool many people into thinking those are "healthier" (well, in my opinion one exception to this rule: small amounts of natural unpasteurized honey seems to have a number of real health benefits) . And be certain to avoid ANYTHING with high-fructose (corn) syrup.

Artificial sweeteners only worsen the situation. Those increase the obesity risk by stimulating your appetite, increasing carbohydrate cravings, and stimulating fat storage. Not to mention the various biochemistry distortions (and other health risks, such as ones linked to Aspartame).

Another issue is the obscure and confusing labeling of ingredients in processed foods. Most people in the West often assume they are eating healthy - but once you start to differentiate between these various named ingredients, and what mainstream processed foods contain in reality - well, it is absolutely shocking. What is more, the lists on the labels which show the vitamins, colories, and so on, NEVER mention the fructose and glucose amounts. At some point, I believe, this was suggested by worried health officials and scientists, but it was again derailed by certain lobbies.

Moral of the story: avoid 99% of processed foods entirely. Just eat a natural diet.

Rayek
03-16-2016, 01:08 AM
Sounds like woo-woo science. Got some cites?

I would have liked to include citations, but this will have to do for now. There is indeed a lot of hogwash related to health and microwaved food. Still, enough evidence (for me at least) to provide reasonable doubt as to the safety of microwaved foods.

http://www.aaimedicine.com/jaaim/apr06/hazards.php

erikals
03-16-2016, 02:09 AM
well, i can surely testify that sugar is addictive.

and yes, saw a documentary some time back how the sugar industry operates. it's criminal.

JonW
03-16-2016, 02:33 AM
Processed food, I wouldn't have a clue what's in it & one needs all day to decipher any info, & a lot of it is misleading at best!

At least if one eats recognisable fruit & veggies one will have some idea what is in it.

erikals
03-16-2016, 02:39 AM
Processed food = Bad for you

http://erikalstad.com/backup/misc.php_files/smile.gif

simple

prometheus
03-16-2016, 05:03 AM
This thread has spun out of topic..
but in a good way and I like it and urge folks to keep on with it, itīs ok for me as the Thread starter, itīs about our health, and I see nothing wrong with that, the food debate is good especially since there are probably a lot of us here having issues with overweight and most of it may be due to wrong food, hidden sugar etc..and another part may be the fact that we also sit too much in front of the computer.

Keeping a healthy weight with not too much colesterol in your veins, that might be a good thing in order to minimize the risc of dementia too... I have heard.

Itīs easier said and done though, I am a lousy cook, I in fact hate to cook unfortunatly, I wish it wasnīt so..thus I am finding myself in a corner of buying simple finished processed food, 5-7 minutes in the microwave, done..and hardly no dishing too.
I reckon I will be paying a price for it later in life, and I possible already do..not getting proper nurishment, and too much sugar etc.

The latest 3 months I have started to do small changes, buying a little more veggies now and then, though itīs still too little for that big change, but itīs a start, I need to keep it up as an habit, and also learn more about small simple recipes that would be fast and easy to do, and then continue to build up those healthy routines.

One of my bad food choices, that is bacon..just love it, and I am drinking way too much milk, I may not necessary need to stop it all, but reduce it..maybe bacon only once in a month?
Right now I think the intake might be 4 times per month, and basicly two or three packages, could reduce that to one package and a lot of veggies instead.
Michael

art
03-16-2016, 06:24 AM
I'm so happy to be part of the LW community. If ever I get bored reading the flood of Lightwave news I can always switch to reading about healthy nutrition, health tips etc. :thumbsup:

gerry_g
03-16-2016, 07:43 AM
I've long been an advocate of the 'ALL LARD' diet, it's totally sugar and salt free, has no nasty added preservatives or additives and whats more takes surprisingly little chewing, so great for worn dentures and old age. OK back on topic, diet will do squat or so next to squat as to make no difference at all to his state of mind and health, what he has is a one way ticket to the bottom, he will loose his ability to read, television will become meaningless as will not be able to retain the narrative thread of what he is watching, he will only remember people he sees frequently and then not by name, he will loose all sense of time meaning sleeping will become sporadic –waking frequently at night and sleeping most of the day– as the condition progresses he will develop compulsive tendencies, scratching and picking at scabs – self harm is a real problem– and he may eventually become incontinent. How do I know all this, my Mom had it, it's a six to seven year slog that towards the end get quite heavy, I looked after her at home most of the time with short breaks when she went int care, in short he is going to go the way of every one else diagnosed with this condition there are no magic cures as yet.

djwaterman
03-16-2016, 09:43 AM
As someone wrote in an article I read about this recently, "hope is the enemy".

erikals
03-16-2016, 12:29 PM
hope is positive in my opinion,

though it can & will often delude a most likely path.

erikals
03-16-2016, 12:32 PM
...diet will do squat or so next to squat as to make no difference at all to his state of mind and health, what he has is a one way ticket to the bottom, he will loose his ability to read, television will become meaningless as will not be able to retain the narrative thread of what he is watching, he will only remember people he sees frequently and then not by name, he will loose all sense of time meaning sleeping will become sporadic –waking frequently at night and sleeping most of the day– as the condition progresses he will develop compulsive tendencies, scratching and picking at scabs – self harm is a real problem– and he may eventually become incontinent. How do I know all this, my Mom had it, it's a six to seven year slog that towards the end get quite heavy, I looked after her at home most of the time with short breaks when she went int care, in short he is going to go the way of every one else diagnosed with this condition there are no magic cures as yet.

bit scary   :/

prometheus
03-16-2016, 02:45 PM
I've long been an advocate of the 'ALL LARD' diet, it's totally sugar and salt free, has no nasty added preservatives or additives and whats more takes surprisingly little chewing, so great for worn dentures and old age. OK back on topic, diet will do squat or so next to squat as to make no difference at all to his state of mind and health, what he has is a one way ticket to the bottom, he will loose his ability to read, television will become meaningless as will not be able to retain the narrative thread of what he is watching, he will only remember people he sees frequently and then not by name, he will loose all sense of time meaning sleeping will become sporadic –waking frequently at night and sleeping most of the day– as the condition progresses he will develop compulsive tendencies, scratching and picking at scabs – self harm is a real problem– and he may eventually become incontinent. How do I know all this, my Mom had it, it's a six to seven year slog that towards the end get quite heavy, I looked after her at home most of the time with short breaks when she went int care, in short he is going to go the way of every one else diagnosed with this condition there are no magic cures as yet.

You are probably right in most of that..probably and many of the declining things you mentioned has already started, though I am not chiming in on that some type of diet or food would be useless, the thing ..though, we will not see anything to give proof of it working, since no one can afford to invest in such diets..thus he will get what the elderly kitchen is mocking up based on their budgets and other things to take in account, I have tasted some of it..and it tasted ****, which my father also thought, itīs not a private luxurary elderly care, just what our commune can provide...and it seems they have poor resources in the elderly care nowadays, unless the relatives are rich enough to afford a special elderly care.
I think it was a bit better some years ago..but something happened here in sweden with a lot of decreasing quality in a lot of welfare institutions. sadly itīs not the same anymore.

Not saying that better food or blueberries would cure him, thereīs no way around the age decline, but I think it the decline could be slowed down, and his way down that path might not be so fast ..if they had acess to better care, that means better nutrition, activities, etc...I do not believe that even a human body at that age would refuse to react to stimuli like that...it doesnīt make any sense, at least some positive reaction should be there..how much is of course very questionable.

JonW
03-16-2016, 05:16 PM
I've long been an advocate of the 'ALL LARD' diet, it's totally sugar and salt free,

My Dad grow up on a lard died as did his friends, it was the norm! Thin as a rake, he put on a modest amount of weight in his 50s & 60s due to taking an interest in cakes and similar foods. Later in life he lost weight again eating a diet similar to childhood. Not too many cakes! He lasted till his late 80s & had all his teeth with next to no fillings. Parkinson's disease got him in the end. None smoker as well!