Q: Dear Regina, I have been newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. I do not know much about it but I do have some information to read and my doctor has prescribed me medicine that seems to be working for most of my symptoms. The tremours are not completely gone when I am trying to drink my coffee. Do I need an adjustment with meds? Will this get better?
A: The first thing I would make sure is that you are taking your meds as the doctor prescribed, on time. This is crucial. The other thing you can do is use a heavier cup or a weighted wrist band. This sometimes will slow the tremours. I have seen a lot of success with weights. It is not guaranteed that it will get better. Every person will respond to treatment differently. You may want to join a group for support that will have lots of ideas to help with different symptoms. Try social media for support groups. I encourage you to start one in your area.
Q: Hello Ms. Posvar, I am having uncomfortable feelings regarding my mum’s friends. They all know she has Alzheimer’s, but her close friends do not come by to visit any more. She has quite a group of ladies that meet up weekly for lunch and rotate at each other’s home. I had encouraged them to continue to include Mum and I offered to be with Mum the week it is her turn. I am really sad for Mummy. Do people lose their friends with this disease?
A: I am so sorry to hear this. Unfortunately this is common. Many close friends find it hard to see their friend decline and simply do not know how to cope. While you might find that some casual friends seem to remain in contact with no change. The disease affects our friends just as much as the families. The lack of support and education is keeping fear alive. It is natural to be fearful of what we are not familiar with. Awareness of Alzheimer’s and other dementias is crucial in our world and smaller countries.
Not only does your mom lose some of her close friends for support, but if you become her full-time caregiver, chances are you too will lose some of your close friends. This has to change. If enough people do not become educated we are going to be a lonely world as the population of this disease is multiplying faster than technology advances. It is time to invest in people more than the things of this world.
A Tip for Brain Health in Honor of World Alzheimer’s Month reported by Alz.org States: “There are lifestyle habits that you can adopt to maintain or potentially improve your health as you age. These habits, spanning four categories — physical health and exercise, diet and nutrition, cognitive activity, and social engagement — can help keep your body and brain healthy and potentially reduce your risk of cognitive decline.
Research has suggested that combining good nutrition with mental, social and physical activities may have a greater benefit in maintaining or improving brain health than any single activity. At the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference® 2014, a two-year clinical trial of older adults at risk for cognitive impairment showed that a combination of physical activity, nutritional guidance, cognitive training, social activities and management of heart health risk factors slowed cognitive decline.
Embrace lifestyle habits that improve your overall health, such as exercising, consuming a nutritious diet, and staying cognitively and socially active — science suggests these may support brain health as well. It’s never too late to make changes to achieve a healthier lifestyle — or too early to start.” And with healthy brains we are never too old to learn.
Alzheimer’s Month is September. Wear something Purple and submit to email email@example.com and we together will submit to Alzheimer’s Disease International that St. Lucia is raising Alzheimer’s Awareness.
Brainy quote: Instead of “the John” I call my bathroom “the Jim”! That way it sounds better when I say I go to the Jim first thing every morning!!
Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or call/text to 486-4509