With so many choices in hand-held communication available today, it should be easier than ever to “reach out and touch someone.” However, the advances in technology may be moving too quickly for many people, especially for seniors. For a generation more comfortable with face-to-face interaction and defined rules of etiquette, the increasing reliance on email, social networking and the Internet can contribute to feelings of isolation and societal alienation.
Throughout history, young people have traditionally been among the first to embrace new technologies, from phonographs to personal computers. However, whether it is due to a desire to keep in touch with their children, especially their grandchildren, or a drive to stay connected with today’s world seniors are quickly learning how to navigate our increasingly digital world. According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, “more than 50% of older Americans are Internet users and an even higher share have mobile phones.”
Continue reading SMART TECHNOLOGY FOR SENIORS
According to The New York Times, “more than 100 medical conditions can resemble Alzheimer’s disease, and about 20 percent of people who are told they have the illness are found upon further examination to have frontotemporal dementia, vascular dementia, normal pressure hydrocephalus, Parkinson’s disease or another condition.”
In fact, Dr. Dan Skovronsky, chief executive of Avid Radiopharmaceuticals, which makes a radioactive chemical used in amyloid PET scans that may help detect and diagnose Alzheimer’s disease claims “as many as 40 percent of older adults with cognitive impairment do not have Alzheimer’s disease.”
While medical professionals search for diagnostic tools to detect Alzheimer’s and other cognitive illness as early as possible as well as continue drug trials in search of pharmaceutical treatments designed to fight Alzheimer’s disease, many aging adults and their families are struggling with establishing the correct medical diagnosis and treatment plan for their symptoms.
“Ninety-five percent of older adults have some sort of cognitive complaint, so a lot of people will go to their doctor worried but may be dismissed as normal aging,” according to Katherine Gifford, Psy.D., neuropsychology fellow in the Vanderbilt Memory & Alzheimer’s Center. Gifford recently published her research study, “The source of cognitive complaints predicts diagnostic conversion differentially among nondemented older adults,” in the July 18, 2013 issue of The Journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia and she believes her research results demonstrate that a cognitive complaint should be taken seriously, particularly when a loved one can confirm there are issues with mental ability, such as memory loss. Gifford suggests “further follow-up or referral to a specialist” would be appropriate in such cases.
Continue reading RECOGNIZING SIGNS OF ALZHEIMER’S AND OTHER COGNITIVE DISEASES