We may not recognize the risk we are putting ourselves in the moment of leaning over someone for an extended period of time. We may not feel any different a few minutes after lifting up a person from bed or transferring a person from a chair to a wheel chair, but inevitably, it hits us the next day.
In a recent New York Times article, "Giving Alzheimer's Patients Their Way, Even Chocolate," the use of food, art, music, and exercise were highlighted as means to generate positive emotions and to engage people with dementia in positive activities. Last week I had the pleasure of witnessing the power of music, as part of my new staff orientation to Rainbow Hospice and Palliative Care, based in Park Ridge.
Is Alzheimer's disease preventable? It's a question many ask but few seem to get a straight answer to. That's probably because the answer is just as vague as the exact cause of the disease. Depending on who you ask, you're likely to hear one of three responses: "No," "well, maybe," and "we don't know." Since 2000, death rates from other major diseases have dropped while Alzheimer's has risen by 66%. With 5.4 million Americans living with Alzheimer's, you'd think we might have pinpointed an exact cause as well as an answer about prevention by now, but the sad truth is we haven't. So, what DO we know about Alzheimer's risk factors and prevention?