Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Elder Care: Is Dementia Really Normal?

A friend is caring for her terminally ill father. He wasn't around much when she was growing up. Now, she finds herself and siblings giving him round-the-clock care. That's the irony of life and compassion that some people have. I mentioned to her that at a certain age there's always something that you have to be concerned about. If it's not an insecure mate, it's adult children who still need guidance or it's elder parents. Don't you know that after I said it, I find myself tending to my father?

He's diagnosed with dementia. He's staying at good place but, dementia is troubling because so many elder Americans have it. It seems that we quietly accept that old people must lose cognitive abilities. Is it really so? Why is it that other countries have lower rates?

I did an "Ask" search to find that there's evidence that metal toxicity, zinc or folic acid deficiency, niacin, thiamine and/ or B-12 deficiency directly contribute to the condition. Further, lack of sunlight and exercise affect mood and cognition. While medication has its place, raw fruits and vegetables and nutritional supplementation can help anyone. Exposure to the sun lowers 'bad cholesterol', helps the body produce vitamin E and K, regulates the kidneys and liver, cures lingering ailments and helps maintain a positive mood. It's wonderful how nature help humans. maybe we should be more kinder to it.

Facilitating my eldercare task is technology. Mapquest provided the directions to my destination. During my travel to where my father lives, I put in a hands-free call to a health center so that they were informed that an adult child was on the way. My cell phone kept me in touch with other family members. Contrastingly, my brother is without a cell phone nor has a PC in his home. Some people can be stubborn about advancing with technological advances.

Go to go; I have to pick up a fax.

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