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aging

Post image for How Can I Manage Anger and Protect My Brain?

I’m looking at every option for keeping my brain healthy now and for the long-term.  In Tuesday’s post, I examined chronic anger and how it, along with the resulting stress, adversely affects the body and the brain.  It isn’t practical to think anger can, or ever should, be completely eliminated.  However, there must be some […]

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Post image for How Does Anger Affect the Brain?

Irate people seem to be everywhere these days, on airplanes, in cars, at school, at sporting events, on social media and at political rallies across the country.  It makes me wonder, has anger reached a new high in America?  If so, how is it affecting the human body, and more specifically how does anger affect […]

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Post image for Have You Heard About the Powerful and Amazing ‘No One Dies Alone’ Program?

It was a rainy night in Eugene, Oregon and Sandra Clarke, a bedside nurse at Sacred Heart Medical Center was busy making her initial rounds. One of Sandra’s seven patients that evening was a man she describes as frail, pale, old and tremulous.  In a voice barely audible the man asked, “Will you stay with […]

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Post image for Fear of Dying Alone: People Dread a Lonely Death

In 2014, in the middle of a hot New York City summer, George Bell, a 73-year-old man died alone in his Queens, New York apartment. About a week later, one of his neighbors noticed an odor and alerted the authorities, otherwise his body may have lingered there for much longer.  George Bell’s death and its […]

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Post image for Can You Catch Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer’s Media Coverage “Is Alzheimer’s Contagious?”  The recent online headline made my blood pressure rise.  inflammatory, inaccurate headlines about Alzheimer’s abound, and it drives me batty.  You probably saw the same headlines. Most media stories are serious, well-researched and grounded in reality. However, there is also plenty of media coverage that consists of attention-grabbing headlines […]

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Post image for Alzheimer’s Cure! No, It’s Not Pot

A sincere “Thank You” to David Shenk and Rudy Tanzi.  A few days ago, I read your opinion piece, “Misplaced Hopes for Curing Alzheimer’s,” in The Wall Street Journal.  If you missed it, you can read it at this link. The essay is aimed at the “wishers” and “dreamers” (I’ll add scammers) who promote miracle […]

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How Old Do You Feel?

by Nancy Wurtzel on June 4, 2015

Post image for How Old Do You Feel?

When I was fourteen my beloved Grandmother turned 85.  On the day of her birthday, our family hosted a small party for Grandma in the community room of her senior apartment complex.  As the afternoon event was winding down, my sister, Barbara, and I sat chatting with Grandma. Making small talk, we asked Grandma how […]

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Post image for The Alzheimer Association’s Annual Washington, D.C. Forum

Last month I went to Washington, D.C. to attend the Alzheimer’s Association Forum, an annual event that brings together advocates from all across the country. Launched more than two decades ago, the forum’s goal is to educate regular folks, like myself, about the workings of government.  The goal is to enlighten Congress and apply pressure so we […]

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Post image for TED Ed: Alzheimer’s Tutorial

I’m a big fan all things TED-related.  TED talks, videos and tutorials tap into my inner geek.  I’ve got a thirst for knowledge, yet I also want information imparted in a manner I can understand and easily share. Yesterday, I came across a TED Ed animated video from 2014.  Created by Ivan Seah Yu Jun […]

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Post image for Alive Inside, A Documentary About Memory Loss & Music is Nothing Short of Remarkable

Watching the documentary, Alive Inside, I couldn’t help but think: What a simple idea, and why didn’t I think of that? Filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennett chronicles individuals with memory loss who are revitalized through music. It’s an idea that costs very little but makes a huge difference for people those with Alzheimer’s or other progressive brain […]

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Post image for Alzheimer’s Frustrates Physicians

Alzheimer’s and other progressive diseases of the brain are devastating. They are also profoundly frustrating for those living with the disease, their family and caregivers.  The healthcare professionals who treat those patients are also frustrated. Recently, I came across a New York Times essay by Dr. Danielle Ofri.  “The Silence of Doctors Around Alzheimer’s” focuses […]

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Post image for We’re Living Longer. Is That Good?

Life Expectancy in the U.S. is Rising Americans are living longer.  Life expectancy in the U.S. has risen to 78.8 years for those born in 2012 or after, according to a story in USA Today and other online sources.   Traditionally, women live longer than men and these latest projections are no exception with women’s […]

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Post image for Alzheimer’s Disease Researchers Identify PART, Primary Age-Related Tauopathy

A scientific team announced late last year it has identified yet another type of neurological disease.  It’s called PART or primary age-related tauopathy.  While PART mimics Alzheimer’s, it follows a significantly different brain pathology. The Alzheimer’s brain shows the classic combination of tangles comprised of a protein called tau and plaques, which are the result […]

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Post image for Alzheimer’s Abuse Caught on Tape in Winter Haven, Florida Nursing Home

Captured on video: Two nursing assistants at Palm Gardens Nursing Home in Winter Haven, Florida repeatedly hitting and abusing a 76-year-old man who is in the latter stages of Alzheimer’s disease.  The man, unable to communicate and requiring help with the most basic of functions is seen being slapped, kicked and taunted during three separate […]

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Post image for A Global Perspective: The Financial Cost of Alzheimer’s and Other Dementias

Yesterday, I wrote about the Third Annual Worldwide Alzheimer’s month.  Now, I’m sharing information about the significant financial devastation for both individuals and nations around the globe. To understand the massive economic consequences of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) has complied some sobering international figures.  This major report was published in […]

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Post image for Third Annual World Alzheimer’s Month

World Alzheimer’s Month™, a global campaign aimed at bringing awareness and advocacy of the disease, is ending in two days.  For the month of September, Alzheimer’s organizations around the world have been raising money and awareness through memory walks, screenings, social activities and other events. In Dating Dementia, I often cite U.S. statistics, but the […]

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Post image for In Retrospect: Five Lessons I Learned From My Years as an Alzheimer’s Caregiver

Why is life so much clearer in retrospect? With the passage of time, it is easy to look back, see the big picture and think: “If I’d only known then, what I know now.” I often hear caregivers voice this sentiment. And, as a long-time Alzheimer’s caregiver myself (for my mother, father and other relatives […]

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Post image for The Mini-Cog, A Memory Assessment Tool

Have you heard of the “Mini-Cog”?  I had read about it several years ago but a recent front page feature in the Star Tribune, our major daily newspaper in the Twin Cities, piqued my interest.  The story focused on Dr. Michael Rosenbloom, clinical director of the HealthPartners Center for  Memory and Aging, in St. Paul, […]

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Post image for What’s the Difference Between Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia?

About eight years ago my mom began to demonstrate personality changes and memory issues.  Mummy, as we affectionately called her, was repeating herself, having difficulty communicating and had begun hoarding — plastic bags, Kleenex, pennies and even little pats of butter. Looking for answers, my sister took Mummy to see her family doctor, calling ahead […]

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People have emailed me wanting to know more about my mother, Helen Katherine Finnie Ogle, who died last week after living with Alzheimer’s for eight years.  Here is a little about her childhood. In 1920, she was born in northwestern Iowa, the last of five siblings and the first to be born in a hospital.  […]

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My father died 14 years ago today.  I had a hunch Mummy might pick this day to make her exit, but it appears today will not be the day.  She is not ready.  There are people coming to see her. My sister called this morning — the one who lives in California.  She’s flying in […]

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Post image for Dear God, My Mother Has Alzheimer’s Disease, Please Help Her Die

Dear Readers: This Blog Post Was First Published in 2013 When My Mother Was in the Latter Stages of Alzheimer’s disease.  Mom Died in November 2013. I am not a religious person.  I don’t even believe in a higher power, let alone one true God.  Even so, for the past several years I often find […]

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When I think of sandwich, I usually conjure up an image of a corned beef on rye or a tuna salad on whole wheat.  When you add generation to it, then I envision the baby boomers (of which I am one) eating sandwiches made of Wonder Bread. Of course, Sandwich Generation has taken on a […]

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This morning I read an article in USA Today about the legacy of Margaret Thatcher, who died last week at age 87.  Written by Michael Wolff, the excellent opinion piece is not about the prime minister’s long-term political and economic contributions, but rather about the last dozen or so years of her life when she […]

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It’s worse than we thought.  Without a cure or an effective way of slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, our nation will face staggering consequences, according to a widely-circulated study published recently by the Rush Institute for Healthy Aging. The study tracked 10,802 seniors, aged 65 or older, from 1993 to 2011.  Every three years […]

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The Mummy Update

by Nancy Wurtzel on March 12, 2013

Friends and followers have been asking me for the latest news about my 92-year-old mother, whom we affectionately call Mummy. Mummy has shown signs of dementia for about five years and is in beginnings of severe Alzheimer’s disease. After moving into assisted living last fall, Mummy’s symptoms worsened significantly and she continues in a downward […]

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When I lived in California, I had a yoga membership at a local studio and could take all of the classes I wanted.  It was pretty great.  At my new home near Minneapolis, I’ve not yet found a yoga center that offers the classes I want at the times I need. Luckily, over the holidays, […]

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More Females Are Caregivers When I conjure an image of a caregiver, I picture a woman.  I know I’m being sexist but I always think female.  Why? First, I don’t personally know many male caregivers.  In fact, I can only think of one or two.  Also, in my family, the women did all the traditional […]

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Post image for What Makes Me Angry? Dementia.

I first noticed signs of my mother’s dementia symptoms during a trip home to Minnesota about four years ago.  I remember feeling panicked.  You see, my dad had Alzheimer’s disease and needed full-time care for years.  That long, awful journey took a terrible toll on him as well as my mom, who was his primary […]

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When you live in the upper Midwest you get fixated on the weather.  The sun didn’t come out for a week and I was getting seriously  down.  I ruminated about the sun a lot — like an old friend who had gone on an extended vacation and was sorely missed.  It wasn’t only me, however, […]

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Three nights ago, I scared myself.  Bad.  I was watching TV and working on my laptop when I must have hit a button command by mistake. When I next looked down at my computer screen I saw an older, pale, blondish woman with a surprised look on her face.  She stared straight at me. Her […]

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purple woman brain

Nobody wants to talk about dementia.  Bring up Alzheimer’s in a social setting and watch the reaction.  People squirm, they become uncomfortable, their gaze wanders, they stop making eye contact and finally they clam up like a librarian at a strip club. Dementia affects almost everyone these days, and you would be hard pressed to find […]

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