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What Assisted Living Residents Need To Know If They Want To Live Past 60

August 17, 2011 Leave a comment

Every 70 seconds a senior is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. If you intend to live past the age of 60 you need to learn more about Alzheimer’s disease, especially since there is no cure. Today it is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States. Our brains change as we age just as the rest of our organs do. Most of us notice some slowed thinking and occasional problems with remembering certain things. However, serious memory loss, confusion and other major changes in the way our minds work are not a normal part of aging. These may be signs that your brain cells are failing. September 21st was World Alzheimer’s Day, when the Alzheimer’s Association joined with organizations and people around the globe to raise awareness about the disease and its impact on families. Today, 35 million people worldwide are affected by Alzheimer’s as well as related forms of dementia and assisted living facilities have realized that this number is rapidly growing. Assisted living facilities are educating seniors about the deadly disease so they are aware of the signs, symptoms and possible precautionary methods.

World Alzheimer’s Day is an opportunity to raise donations and awareness about Alzheimer’s disease. There is a need for more education, support and research on this disease. As a citizen of society you can participate by joining one of the many World Alzheimer’s Day events within your community. Assisted Living Facilities celebrate this day by organizing fundraisers and events to help raise awareness. Memory Walk 2010 is a perfect example. Participants come together and walk in order to change the course of Alzheimer’s Disease. Memory Walk is the nation’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer care, support and research. Since 1989, Memory Walk has raised more than $300 million for the cause.

What Exactly Is Alzheimer’s Disease?
The human brain is your most unique and powerful organ, yet a healthy brain weighs only about three pounds. It has three main parts:
The Cerebrum fills up most of your skull. It is involved in remembering, problem solving, thinking, and feeling. It also controls movement.
The Cerebellum sits at the back of your head, under the cerebrum. It controls coordination and balance.
The Brain Stem sits beneath your cerebrum in front of your cerebellum. It connects the brain to the spinal cord and controls automatic functions such as breathing, digestion, heart rate and blood pressure.

The real work of your brain goes on in individual cells. An adult brain contains about 100 billion nerve cells, or neurons, with branches that connect at more than 100 trillion points. Scientists call this dense, branching network a “neuron forest.” Signals traveling through the neuron forest form the basis of memories, thoughts and feelings. Neurons are the chief type of cell destroyed by Alzheimer’s disease. Signals that form memories and thoughts move through an individual nerve cell as a tiny electrical charge. Nerve cells connect to one another at synapses. When a charge reaches a synapse, it may trigger release of tiny bursts of chemicals called neurotransmitters. The neurotransmitters travel across the synapse, carrying signals to other cells. Scientists have identified dozens of neurotransmitters.

Alzheimer’s disease disrupts both the way electrical charges travel within cells and the activity of neurotransmitters. 100 billion nerve cells! 100 trillion synapses! Dozens of neurotransmitters! This “strength in numbers” provides your brain’s raw material. Over time, our experiences create patterns in signal type and strength. These patterns of activity explain how, at the cellular level, our brains code our thoughts, memories, skills and sense of who we are. Alzheimer’s disease leads to nerve cell death and tissue loss throughout the brain. Over time, the brain shrinks dramatically, affecting nearly all of its functions.  Alzheimer’s gets worse over time, and is fatal. Visit alz.org to find a Memory Walk event in your area or locate another volunteer opportunity to help end the disease.

800Seniors.com is a leading referral system in the Elderly Healthcare industry. We are located on 5400 Atlantis Court, Moorpark, California 93021. 800Seniors.com provides the perfect match between seniors searching for health care provisions such as Home Care Houston, Home Health, Skilled Nursing, Hospice Care, Medical Supplies, as well as a variety of Assisted Living Facilities and Care Homes nationwide. Take the confusion and hassle out of the search. For more information call 1-800-768-8221, visit http://800seniors.com or fax us your details at (805)517-1623.

About The Author: Gloria Ha’o Schneider is an expert in senior citizen and baby boomer issues. Her topics revolve around Senior Living and Healthcare to provide the latest information to this demographic as well as their families and loved ones.

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End-of-Life Decisions: Should The Government Be Involved?

June 10, 2011 Leave a comment

Five years after Terri Schiavo died after having a Court ordered removal of her feeding tube, experts on End-of-Life issues say not much has changed. It’s estimated that only 20%-30% of Americans have advance care directives, about the same number as in 2005. The Schiavo case turned into a 7-year legal battle between Terri’s husband and her parents after she suffered a cardiac arrest on February 25, 1990. She suffered massive brain damage due to lack of oxygen and, after two and a half months in a coma, her diagnosis was elevated to vegetative state. For the next few years, doctors attempted physical therapy and other experimental therapy, hoping to return Terri to a state of awareness, but the legal battles ensued. At issue was whether the equipment that was being used to sustain her life since 1990 – specifically a feeding tube– should have been disconnected, thereby allowing her to die.

Also at issue was the absence of a living will or any end-of-life directive. A trial was held during the week of January 24, 2000, to determine what Terri’s wishes would have been regarding life-prolonging procedures. Testimony from eighteen witnesses regarding her medical condition and her end-of-life wishes was heard. Her husband, Michael Schiavo claimed that Terri would not want to be kept on a machine when her chance for recovery was minuscule. According to Abstract Appeal Trial Order, her parents “claimed that Terri was a devout Roman Catholic who would not wish to violate the Church’s teachings on euthanasia by refusing nutrition and hydration.” Judge George Greer issued his order granting Michael’s petition for authorization to discontinue artificial life support for his wife in February 2000. In this decision, the Court found that Terri was in a persistent vegetative state and that she had made reliable oral declarations that she would have wanted the feeding tube removed.

life line? by *forcedtobeanartist on deviantART

Without passing judgment on whether this one issue of not having an end-of-life directive would have prevented the public, personal and political catastrophe that ensued, experts stress the importance of such a document for avoiding uncertainties in such a difficult personal and moral decision. The rehabilitation efforts for Terri Schiavo lasted three years. The legal cases surrounding this end-of-life issue lasted seven years from 1998-2005 and included the following Court proceedings:

·Petition to remove feeding tube ·Schiavo I: end-of-life wishes ·Oral feeding and the Second Guardianship Challenge ·Schiavo II- In April 2001, Terri’s parents filed a motion for relief from judgment citing new evidence of Terri’s wishes but the Court denied it. ·Schiavo Second feeding tube removal and state involvement: Terri’s Law ·Sciavo III & IV: PVS diagnosis challenge ·Final feeding tube removal and federal involvement.

800Seniors.com is a leading referral system in the Elderly Healthcare industry. We are located on 5400 Atlantis Court, Moorpark, California 93021. 800Seniors.com provides the perfect match between seniors searching for health care provisions such as Home Care Houston, Home Health, Skilled Nursing, Hospice Care, Medical Supplies, as well as a variety of Assisted Living Facilities and Care Homes nationwide. Take the confusion and hassle out of the search. For more information call 1-800-768-8221, visit http://800seniors.com or fax us your details at (805)517-1623.

About The Author: Gloria Ha’o Schneider is an expert in senior citizen and baby boomer issues. Her topics revolve around Senior Living and Healthcare to provide the latest information to this demographic as well as their families and loved ones.

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