April 5, 2013 |
The cost of caring for dementia patients has reached $109 billion annually, exceeding that for heart disease and cancer, and will double by the time the youngest baby boomers reach their 70s, according to a study. Dementia is characterized by a group of symptoms that prevent people from carrying out the tasks of daily living. Reduced mental function makes it impossible for them to do things like keep track of medications or finances. In more severe cases, patients lose the ability to handle basic tasks like bathing and dressing.
January 14, 2013 |
Though unmistakable in retrospect, Mom's symptoms were not obvious at first. Her six grown children told her, and themselves, that plenty of older people are forgetful. Everybody misplaces keys and glasses and checkbooks, they said. Anybody can forget how to spell forty . Boy, were we ever in denial. Our mother had - and still has - dementia, the umbrella term for Alzheimer's disease and similar disorders with little in the way of treatment, and no cure. An estimated 5.4 million Americans have dementia, which saps people of the ability to handle the car, the checkbook, the cooking.
January 4, 2013 |
For a problem that has no doubt been around as long as humans have been falling on hard objects and bashing one another's skulls with clubs, brain injuries are still surprisingly mysterious. Scientists, including a cadre at the University of Pennsylvania, are lifting the veil, though, and what they're seeing is already "dramatically" changing American sports, said Douglas Smith, who heads Penn's Center for Brain Injury and Repair. Everyone from parents to pro athletes to military leaders is suddenly paying more attention to "mild" brain injuries, or concussions, and their long-term consequences.
December 27, 2012 |
The room is filled with dementia patients, including a Flyers icon who is in hockey's Hall of Fame, and they are trying to enjoy each other's company during the holiday season. Keith Allen, the first coach in Flyers history and the general manager of the team's 1974 and 1975 Stanley Cup champions, is pushed ever so gently in his wheelchair so he can greet a handful of visitors at the Sunrise Senior Living facility in Newtown Square. Allen, 89, wears a blue sweater, blue jogging pants, white sneakers, and a red Santa hat with a team name on the front - Flyers - that he spelled in sparkles during an arts-and-crafts class.
December 17, 2012 |
Cathedral Village, a retirement community in Philadelphia's Andorra section, last month reached what experts called a "unique" agreement with the U.S. Attorney's Office in Philadelphia to enhance care in its nursing home, especially for Alzheimer's and dementia patients. The joint agreement grew out of complaints by Barry Vernick, whose wife, suffering from Parkinson's disease and dementia, died following a brief stay at Cathedral Village in late 2008. The agreement mentions no allegations of wrongdoing by the nonprofit Cathedral Village.
November 10, 2012 |
The plastic glove dispenser inviting visitors to cover their hands is the first sign that an uncommon art exhibit is footsteps away. Inside the second-floor gallery at Ursinus College's Berman Museum, an iPod offers a jazz soundtrack to a painting's abstract swish of colors. A sequined-and-studded Styrofoam bust mimics the contemporary art image that hangs above it. "Please do touch," urges a nearby sign. The residents of Parkhouse, Montgomery County's long-term care and senior-living community in Royersford, do just that, and look around at the exhibit that they helped create.
November 3, 2012 |
Norma Rita Bednarek, 91, mother of Washington Savings Bank president Martin G. Bednarek, died Wednesday, Oct. 31, of natural causes at Deer Meadows Home Health, a nursing facility in Northeast Philadelphia. She had dementia for seven years, her son said. Martin Bednarek is known in Philadelphia for serving on the School Reform Commission from fall 2003 to spring 2008. He also served on the School District board of education from March 2000 to December 2001. Mrs. Bednarek was born and raised in the Mayfair section of Philadelphia.
October 19, 2012 |
The prolific Philadelphia playwright Bruce Graham must be leading a charmed life. In a matter of months, The Outgoing Tide, his funny and searing exploration of dementia and its effect on a family, has been given not one but two terrific productions here. The first was in Center City in the spring, at Philadelphia Theatre Company. The second now plays in Wilmington, where Delaware Theatre Company takes The Outgoing Tide - with its perfect narrative arc, smooth writing, and genuine tone - and runs with it in a production directed by Broadway producer Bud Martin, in his first season as artistic director in Wilmington.
June 20, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - For people with Alzheimer's disease, a hospital stay may prove catastrophic. A new study highlights the lingering ill effects: Being hospitalized seems to increase the chances of Alzheimer's patients moving into a nursing home - or even dying - within the next year, Harvard researchers reported Monday. The risk is higher if those patients experience what's called delirium, a state of extra confusion and agitation, during their stay. It's not clear exactly why, although specialists say delirium is especially bad for an already damaged brain.