Sources of Help for Seniors

There are many government-supported benefits for seniors, including some programs that are not widely known. Seniors and their caregivers can find services through some helpful online resources listed below.

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice has a Home Care and Hospice Agency Locator and a Caring Store with workbooks and manuals for caregivers.

The Visiting Nurse Associations of America has a Find-a-Provider website.

The Eldercare.net website contains a searchable database of resources that are available at the state and community level. For example, there are connections for legal services, elder abuse prevention, health insurance assistance, home health care, and long term care. Users can enter their data to search for specific programs to meet their individual needs.

The National Council on Aging provides a website called BenefitsCheckUp.org on programs for the elderly, which it says can help some seniors save thousands of dollars on the basic costs of living.


The Older Americans Act of 1965 (OAA) established a national network of federal, state, and local agencies that help older adults live independently, called the National Aging Network. Anyone 60 or older is eligible for services under the OAA; those most in need get priority. The network includes 56 State Agencies on Aging, 622 Area Agencies on Aging, and more than 260 Title VI Native American aging programs. Its programs are supported by tens of thousands of service providers and volunteers. A few examples of the many programs in the network are:

EyeCare America provides access to free medical eye care and annual eye exams;

Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), which provides stay-at-home alternatives to living in a nursing home;

Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP), which gives workshops that help people manage health conditions such as arthritis, asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, cancer, depression, anxiety, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, osteoporosis, and HIV/AIDS.


For information on Long Term Care Insurance, see the Guide To Long Term Care

Long Term Care Insurance Quote


.

.

.

.

Concussions May Increase Risk for Alzheimer’s Disease

According to a recent study published in the journal Brain, the mild trauma associated with a concussion can increase the risk of brain and memory impairment.

The researchers measured the thickness of the layers in the cerebral cortex of 160 war veterans, including many who had a history of concussion or PTSD. This region of the brain is associated with memory, language and other functions.

alzIn the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s disease, the cerebral cortex becomes thinner and begins to atrophy. The study showed that individuals who had concussions tended to have less thickness in the cerebral cortex.

Finding out how a concussion speeds up the onset of Alzheimer’s could lead to medicines or other treatments that would prevent the process. Early treatment would give patients the best chance to avoid the most devastating effects of the disease. The average age of the veterans who had pathological changes in their brains was 32.

Of special concern was the trauma of a concussion for someone who already has a genetic predisposition to get Alzheimer’s disease.

For more information on the effects of Alzheimer’s disease, see the Guide To Long Term Care:
Alzheimer’s Information
Veterans information


Long Term Care Insurance Quote


.

.

.

.

Alzheimer’s research yields dental breakthrough – self healing teeth?

A drug designed to treat Alzheimer’s disease turns out to stimulate teeth to heal themselves, according to a new study published by the Dental Institute at Kings College, London.

Scientists previously found that activating stem cells in a tooth’s pulp will stimulate self-repair for small cracks and holes on the tooth surface. But the new treatment can bring about self-healing in larger holes, even all the way to the tooth’s root.

The tooth still has to be drilled, unfortunately, to remove the cavity. But if the process works, filling can be avoided, along with the risk of future decay around the filling. The teeth can generate new dentine – the mineralised material that protects the tooth from cavities.

The drug, Tideglusib, has already undergone clinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease. But its application for tooth repair has so far only been tested on mice.

Researchers placed biodegradable collagen sponges into the mice’s teeth cavities, applying low doses of small molecule glycogen synthase kinase (GSK-3) inhibitors to the tooth; one of the molecules was Tideglusib. The application stimuated the renewal of stem cells and enabled the tooth cells to regenerate. The next tests will be on rats, whose teeth are four times the size. Human tests are expected some time in 2017.

Check out the Guide To Long Term Care for more information on Alzheimer’s disease.

Long Term Care Insurance Quote


.

.

.

.

Blood test coming to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease?

A research team has found a method to detect biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease in blood platelets. The test uses a ratio between normal and abnormal brain tau proteins to identify those with Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative conditions.

The researchers found that the presence of abnormal tau proteins corresponds with decreased brain volume in parts of the brain where characteristics of Alzheimer’s appear.
alz.jpg
A non-invasive test for Alzheimer’s disease would help detect people at risk before symptoms develop, and make prevention and early treatment possible.

A study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease in 2016 described using levels of the protein clusterin to ascertain which dementia patients are at risk of Alzheimer’s. Also, a 2015 study focused on using metabolites in saliva to detect cognitive impairment.

In 2016, 5.4 million Americans were affected by Alzheimer’s disease. For more information, consult the Alzheimer’s @Guide To Long Term Care.


Long Term Care Insurance Quote


.

.

.

.

An artist’s brush strokes may reveal future Alzheimer’s disease

Researchers at Maynooth University in Ireland and the University of Liverpool studied 2,091 paintings from seven famous artists to determine how their painting changed over time. Four of the artists developed neurological diseases later in life: Willem deKooning and James Brooks developed Alzheimer’s; Salvador Dali and Norval Morrisseau developed Parkinson’s. Three aged normally: Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso, and Claude Monet.

In the works by painters who later developed Alzheimer’s, the researchers discovered a change over time in the fractals that show up in their brush strokes.

Fractals are mathematically repeating patterns within patterns, found in nature and in human creations. They can be seen in the branching patterns of trees and rivers, the spiral formations of seashells and pineapples, the magnificent feathers of peacocks, and even in lightning and snowflakes. They can also be used like fingerprints to authenticate the works attributed to a particular artist.

CCP_L2011001092_m
Jackson Pollock

A British physicist found that the paintings of Jackson Pollock, though they seem random and chaotic, contain fractals that are pleasing to the eye.

Scientists analyze the brushstrokes of each painting using a mathematical process called fractal analysis that measures geometric patterns by how often a shape repeats and at what scale. While artists might change painting styles over time, the fractals visible in their brush strokes usually stay the same.

However, this study revealed that artists who were developing a neurodegenerative disorder began to show changes in the fractal dimensions of their paintings, not visible in artists who aged normally.

To uncover fractal patterns in a painting, scientists put the image through a computer program that measures how many times brushstroke patterns repeat within the squares of a grid.

The work of artists who developed Alzheimer’s disease showed a decline in fractal dimensions beginning about the age of 40. In artists who developed Parkinson’s disease, their capabilities increased up until their late fifties and declined from then on. The results were published in the journal Neuropsychology.

How can these findings be applied to the average person? Most people are not professional artists and do not have a collection of works that can be compared over time. However, there are clues in these observations that may lead to other diagnostic methods. For example, earlier studies found that linguistic changes in writers and public speakers provide an early indication of cognitive deterioration.

For more info on Alzheimer’s and dementia, see Guide To Long Term Care


Long Term Care Insurance Quote


.

.

.

.

Gamma oscillations for Alzheimer’s cure?

Recent experiments with mice found that their brains respond positively to a 40Hz pulse of light, the gamma frequency. The flashes of light brought about improvements in the function of the brain that plays an important part in Alzheimer’s disease. The technology might one day help treat Alzheimer’s disease in humans.

alz101b

The research was published in the journal Nature. A company called Cognito Therapeutics is pursuing further research to discover the effect of the pulses of light on human brains.

Meanwhile, at the request of the son of an Alzheimer’s sufferer, Samuel Sekandagu, a game developer with Overflow Games, produced a VR app which uses the Vive headset to deliver a 40Hz flash and 40Hz vibrations to the user’s eyes. The device must be evaluated for safety; the technique has not yet been tested on human beings, and some people are sensitive to flashing lights. But this new approach inspires hope for a non-invasive therapy in the future.

For more on Alzheimer’s disease, go to Guide To Long Term Care.

 


Long Term Care Insurance Quote


.

.

.

.

How your nose can expose your risk of Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s researchers found that a person’s sense of smell declines strongly in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, suggesting a noninvasive “sniff test” for diagnosis.

The test can help identify the pre-dementia condition called mild cognitive impairment (MCI), which often progresses to Alzheimer’s dementia in a few years.

David Roalf, Assistant Professor at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, led a study in which scientists used a simple, commercially available test called the Sniffin’ Sticks Odour Identification Test. Subjects have 16 different odours to identify.

Along with the sniff test, researchers administered a standard cognitive test (the Montreal Cognitive Assessment) to 728 elderly people who had already been diagnosed by doctors as healthy, having mild cognitive impairment, or having Alzheimer’s disease.

The research team found that the sniff test, when combined with the cognitive test, increased diagnostic accuracy. The cognitive test alone identified 75% of people with mild cognitive impairment; after adding the sniff test, 87% of cases were identified.

Using the two tests together also helped the researchers to detect subjects with Alzheimer’s and those who were healthy, and to determine the degree of cognitive impairment.

Doctors believe it is more possible to help people with Alzheimer’s disease if they begin treatment before dementia symptoms appear.
Genworth 2015 Cost of Long-Term Care Survey Chart

Many people get Long Term Care Insurance to protect themselves and their families against the debilitating effects of Alzheimer’s and other dementias.


 

 

Long Term Care Insurance Quote


.

.

.

.