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National Alzheimer’s Project Act Signed Into Legislation

August 17, 2011 Leave a comment

The fact that the United States Congress voted unanimously on any legislation set before them, sent an extremely powerful signal. The National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA), signed by the President on January 4, 2011 turns a concept of need into a law of the land, a coordinated national plan to overcome the Alzheimer’s crisis. Passage of NAPA will ensure the coordination and evaluation of all national efforts in Alzheimer’s research, clinical care, institutional, home and community based programs and their outcomes. The new National Alzheimer’s Project office will be located within the Department of Health and Human Services and will oversee federal research on Alzheimer’s disease to develop a plan to combat the disease and eventually develop a cure. The office will be funded within the existing budget and does not require an appropriation.This is a major victory for the 5.3 million people who live with Alzheimer’s in this country and their nearly 11 million caregivers who take care of them. NAPA will confront one of the most feared and costly diseases that stands to plaque the baby boomer generation as they move into their senior years.

Given the scale of the Alzheimer epidemic and the growing number of Americans directly affected every single day, NAPA will provide an essential framework within the government that recognizes the Alzheimer crisis is no longer emerging, but is already here.
Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, a general term for memory loss and other intellectual abilities that are serious enough to interfere with daily life, worsens over time, and is fatal. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 50 to 70 percent of dementia cases. Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of aging; although the greatest known risk factor is increasing age, and the majority of people with Alzheimer’s are 65 and older. Alzheimer’s is not just a disease of old age however. Roughly, 10 percent of people with the disease have early onset Alzheimer’s that can appear when someone is in their 40s or 50s. For a nearly a decade, advocates of the disease have been petitioning for federal involvement to address the crisis.  In 2003, longtime advocate for those with disease, the Alzheimer’s Association was at the forefront of the effort to add early onset of the disease to the Compassionate Allowances List making it possible for victims to receive Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income. Inclusion on the SSA’s list was not accomplished until 2010. In 2007, then Speaker Newt Gingrich and AA’s Robert Egge made the case for creation of a federal Alzheimer strategy with an article, Developing a National Alzheimer’s Strategy Equal to the Epidemic.

Written by Egge, it garnered national attention when it was published in The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association. Also in 2007, the association launched the Alzheimer’s Study Group at a Capitol Hill Conference. In 2009, they released their final report calling for federal legislation to attack the challenges of the disease, currently the sixth leading cause of death in the nation. Based on the Alzheimer’s Study Group recommendations and following consultations with the Alzheimer’s Association, controversial former Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL) and Evan Bayh (D-IN) introduced a measure to create a collaborated system for researching, treating and eliminating Alzheimer’s disease. The measure was introduced to Congress as the first National Alzheimer’s Project Act in July 2009. After various draftings in 2010, the bill progressed through the legislative branch until final congressional approval in December 2010 and the presidential signing in January 2011. The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care, support, advocacy, and research. Their mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Their vision, now supported by the federal government, is a world without Alzheimer’s.

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 Phoenix, 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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Exercise Therapy Can Help Dizziness, Balance in Inner Ear Fluid Levels

June 10, 2011 Leave a comment

Nearly 90 million Americans, or more than one-third of the population, report bouts of dizziness at some point in their lives, according to studies from the National Institutes of Health. Of those, 76 million suffer from inner-ear disorders, which can be caused by whiplash, blows to the head, viral infections, and high doses of certain antibiotics, strokes or degeneration of the inner ear’s balance function, also known as the vestibular system, which often deteriorates with age. The vestibular system works with the visual system to keep objects in focus when the head is moving. When the head is tilted or the body position is changed with respect to gravity, the displacement of the stones causes the hair cells to bend. If there are any irregularities in this balance system of ‘bobbing buoys’ and fluid, we lose the ability to remain balanced.

Experiencing dizziness and problems with balance can be extremely disruptive, but there are many things that you can do to help your dizziness naturally. Drinking adequate amounts of fluid daily, change positions slowly to avoid dizziness and disorientation, limit the amount of salt you eat in a day to decrease the pressure of your inner ear, can all help. In many cases, a physician will recommend a physical therapist that can customize a home-exercise program designed for each patient. In the instance of an elderly person living at home, a therapist can make home visits and assist with the exercises. Some common exercises, like jumping, sitting up and lying down rapidly and turning in circles with assistance from the therapist can help “jar” inner ear fluids.

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Along with the habituation exercises, vestibular rehabilitation patients are given eye exercises that retrain the vestibular ocular reflex, an adjustment controlled by the inner ear that allows the eye to keep the field of vision steady as a person moves. The eye exercises, in which patients repeatedly move their heads from side to side or up and down while focusing on a specific target, like a letter taped to the wall, help patients steady their gaze.

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 Phoenix, 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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