Disease Management Tag

As we flock to the homes of loved ones this holiday season, many of us will see our families for the first time in weeks or even months. A part of you must wonder how your elderly parent or family member looks compared to the last time you were together. Have they aged much? Do they act any differently? Perhaps one of your biggest fears is coming home and noticing a loved one has trouble remembering things, like turning off the stove.

By Gina Epifano, PT, Director of Rehabilitation, Visiting Nurse Chronic pain and the use of opioids for chronic pain management have been making headlines in recent months. Statistics show that opioid prescriptions have quadrupled since 1999, with 259 million opioid prescriptions written in 2012. That’s enough for every adult in the United States to have a bottle of pills! Overuse of opioids can lead to overdose, addiction, depression and withdrawal symptoms.

When facing a serious illness, treatment options can be confusing. Some patients pursue aggressive treatment, while others choose to forego curative treatment and enter hospice care. However, there is another option called palliative care. Palliative care is often confused with hospice care, but it is not just for hospice patients. Many patients find palliative care a life-affirming, supportive option for dealing with their serious illness.

Games are common in checklists of gifts for Alzheimer's patients, because they provide mental stimulation and pleasant interaction for patients and their families and other caregivers. A July 2016 report concerning reinterpretation of data from a 10-year study related to warding off Alzheimer's is creating a stir about cutting risk of the disease through computer brain games. Registered nurses who aid Alzheimer's patients know all too well the impacts the disease has on patients' families. One concern that often arises is vulnerability of other family members to the disease and what they can do to avoid it. Many members of Alzheimer's families are interested in whether brain training through computer games may be beneficial.

Approximately 5.3 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. One in nine people over 65 suffer from this devastating illness. Researchers are keen to learn more about the factors that may improve early detection of the disease as well as characteristics that may place someone at greater risk. Now, new information is emerging about subtle changes that may be early signs of Alzheimer’s disease.