At the time of this writing, Tony Bennett gave a concert with Lady Gaga. In spite of severe memory loss, Mr. Bennett gave a flawless performance. This is an example of procedural memory. In Mr. Bennett’s case, he had sung his songs thousands of times over decades. His “library of songs” is an over-learned skill. … More The Power of Procedural Memory: What Tony Bennett, Salmon Patties, and Fridge Worms Have in Common
Learn how to prevent accidents and keep the person living with dementia continent for as long as possible! … More Dementia Care: Preventing Urinary/Fecal Incontinence
Warning: This is a graphic topic. Learning and Procedural Memory Today, I received a call from a good friend who was very upset. She is caring for her father and he is smearing his poop all over the bathroom. Towels, walls, any surface within reach. He is leaving the bathroom with feces all over his … More Dementia & Poop: How to Avoid Accidents and Stop Smearing
My sister reached out to me yesterday about diet and dementia. She found a recent story circulating on FB about how family members “cured” an 82-year-old woman’s dementia. “I want to hear what Rita has to say.” Thank you, Margo! This blog is dedicated to my sister, my Aunt Peg and other FB friends who … More No Diet Can Cure Dementia!
Sundowning refers to behaviors seen in persons with dementia that usually occur at the end of the day. Many clinicians and caregivers/care partners seem resigned that this will simply happen and that there is nothing that can be done to prevent or manage it. Which is why I hate the term, and prefer to think … More How to Deal with Sundowning: Myths and Management
In today’s post, I am going to answer a question that I receive many times a week: When is it OK to stop two common medications, Aricept (donepezil) and Namenda (memantine) for people with Alzheimer’s Disease? The short answer: these medications are designed to slow down the nerve damage from AD. Neither medication treats the … More When Is It OK to Stop Medications for People with Alzheimer’s Disease
“I’m so distraught over my father. He has a Peg tube in, and hasn’t had any solid food for over 2 months.” So what does one doe when people with dementia cannot eat? Our reader Denise wrote: “I’m so distraught over my father. Has a Peg tube and hasn’t had any solid food for over 2 … More What to Do When People with Dementia Cannot Eat
Well-meaning family and formal caregivers sometimes start to “overdo” for persons with dementia. “I don’t want her to get hurt” or “I don’t want him to feel embarrassed” or “It is just so much easier if I do (fill in the blank).” What people do not realize is that once a person with dementia forgets how to do an activity or task, he or she is rarely able to relearn it. There just aren’t enough nerve cells to knit together a new memory. … More Flowers and Salmon Patties: How To Slow Down Loss of Function in Persons with Dementia