topLoving Arms Elder Care NewsletterSummer 2012
In This Issue
Mind - Parkinson's Disease Dementia
Body - CHF
Spirit - Loneliness
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Welcome to the Summer issue of our newsletter. We are enjoying time in the sun and having the kids at home during their school vacation.

Loving Arms Elder Care continues providing quality care to a growing list of seniors. Many of the families and individuals we talk to have questions regarding dementia and the differences between types and causes of dementia. In the next few issues we will cover this area in our "Keeping your Mind Active" column.

I hope you find our newsletters informative and interesting. If there is anything we can do for you or your loved ones, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Aimee Read
Loving Arms Elder Care

Keeping Your Mind Active - Parkinson's Disease Dementia. 



Parkinson's disease dementia occurs when a patient with Parkinson's disease develops a progressive dementia at least two years after a diagnosis of Parkinson's disease has been made, and other causes of dementia have been ruled out. Not all people with Parkinson's disease have dementia--only 50% of people with Parkinson's disease have some mild cognitive impairment. As many as 20-40% may have more severe symptoms or dementia. For those patients with Parkinson's disease who go on to develop dementia, there is usually at least a 10 to 15 year lag time between their Parkinson's diagnosis and the onset of dementia. After having Parkinson's disease for 15 years, the prevalence of Parkinson's disease dementia increases to 68%.

During the early stage of dementia, we highly suggest making some important decisions concerning your finances, will and healthcare choices. You may also want to choose someone to handle your affairs and be your Power of Attorney.



It may be necessary for family or friends to start helping with things such as shopping, housework or cooking. This would be a good time to consider support services such as in home care through Loving Arms Elder Care. If you are caring for someone with dementia, these services can give you a chance to have time for yourself and can also help maintain an individual's level of independence in their own home. Click here to learn more.  


Keeping Your Body Healthy - CHF  
Heart failure affects nearly five million Americans. Roughly 550,000 people are diagnosed with heart failure each year. Heart failure does not mean the heart has stopped working. Rather, it means that the heart's pumping power is weaker than normal. With heart failure, blood moves through the heart and body at a slower rate, and pressure in the heart increases. As a result, the heart cannot pump enough oxygen and nutrients to meet the body's needs. If fluid builds up in the arms, legs, ankles, feet, lungs, or other organs, the body becomes congested, and congestive heart failure is the term used to describe this condition. CHF is the leading cause of hospitalization in people older than 65. To learn more about CHF, click here.
Having the support of health care providers, family, and friends is essential to effectively coordinate all of your needs. People with severe heart failure have special needs beyond standard medical care. Loving Arms Elder Care provides excellent caregivers that can provide support to those with CHF. With the right care, heart failure will not stop you from doing the things you enjoy. Your outlook for the future will depend on how well your heart muscle is functioning, your symptoms, and how well you respond to and follow your treatment plan. 


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Keeping Your Spirit Alive - Loneliness
Feeling lonely is never positive, but when it comes to seniors, it may actually contribute to failing health, dementia or an early death.

There are likely many reasons that loneliness can be related to ill health. It could be biological--loneliness is similar to stress and can cause the release of hormones that may impact the immune system. Or, it could be behavioral--people losing weight because they don't have anyone to share a meal with, or lacking a friend or partner to simply remind them to take medications.

Researchers define loneliness as feeling left out or isolated or lacking companionship. Loneliness can leave people vulnerable to pain and other discomforts that an active social life could distract them from. Older people may feel lonely and not necessarily feel depressed. Loneliness is more of a diminished self-worth and feeling of emptiness.

In a study they find friendships are more important than family relationships in predicting good mental health of seniors 60 and older. Even though family relationships are important, they're obligatory. Friendships are optional and may help people continue to feel independent. In addition, friends seem to provide emotional intimacy and companionship, and integration into the community.

Fortunately, loneliness can be overcome, although doing so takes some work.

*  Make friends - make an effort to meet new people. 
*  Join a local senior center or other organization 
*  Rekindle an old friendship - invite someone to lunch 
*  Use the Internet  
*  Volunteer 
*  Start a hobby 
*  Adopt a pet - There are many "senior" pets available for adoption that
    are house broken. 
*  Education - online seminars or college classes 
*  Invite people to your home for crafts, cards, or bingo 

Remember, some loneliness is normal, just don't allow it to become permanent.