Parkinson's disease impacts many seniors in their later years, although some people are diagnosed with the disease when they are younger, such as actor Michael J. Fox. This week, as 3,000 experts in neurology gathered for the annual European Neurological Society (ENS) meeting in Barcelona, Dr. Heinz Reichmann shared study results involving 1,331 German Parkinson's disease patients.
The Neurology Study Found:
- 15% of Parkson's pateints suffer collaterally from dementia
- 11% suffer from both dementia and depression
- 9% suffer from dementia and psychosis
- 40% to 50% suffer from depression
Nearly all Parkinson's sufferers are affected by dementia if they live long enough. Research reveals that cognitive decline and depression often worsen the quality of life more than the movement disorder itself and may inhibit the positive results of other therapies.
Depression is mainly caused by the dismantling of those systems which release the monoamine neurotransmitters and the malfunctioning of the frontal lobe and the cerebral cortex.
Motor impairments in Parkinson's are often associated with an incorrect concentration of dopamine in the blood plasma.
The neurology doctors are continuing to explore and research effective treatments which include psychosocial support, behavioral therapy, psychotherapy, drug therapy as well as electroconvulsive therapy.
Senior caregivers assisting seniors with Parkinson's disease may consider continued caregiver training to keep up with the age-related illnesses.
The European Societies for Neurology also announced a merger this week during the Barcelona meeting. Going forward the European Neurological Society and the European Federation of Neurological Societies are merging to be called the European Academy of Neurology.
How many seniors fall each year? According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2.3 million nonfatal fall injuries among older adults were treated in emergency rooms in 2010, and the direct medical costs of falls was more than $28.0 billion. The death rates from falls among elderly men and women continue to rise.
Blue Marble Game Company’s Zoezi Park is a game developed by the Los Angeles company that uses cameras and sensors to create an onscreen avatar that mimics the player’s movements. The game then provides exercises and activities that improve balance, coordination and physical strength. The data can be accessed by a healthcare professional online. Zoezi Park can be used anywhere there is an internet connection — senior centers, rehab facilities or in the privacy and comfort of a senior’s own home.
Blue Marble’s goal is to merge cutting-edge technology with the fun of gesture-based video gaming to positively impact the health and wellbeing of those older adults at risk of or rehabilitating from a fall.
The Zoezi Park project was previously supported by a grant from the National Institute on Aging, but since budget cuts, that funding is no longer available. The company, in conjunction with the Alfred E. Mann Institute for Biomedical Engineering and Three Two One Productions is using crowdfunding to raise their goal of $30,000 by July 13, 2013.
The following statistics are from the Zoezi Park Crowdfunding page at When You Wish:
- 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 each day with 1 in 3 of them experiencing a fall each year.
- Each fall costs $48,000 on average.
- The leading cause of injury related death in people over 65 is falls.
- Falls are a public health problem.
Senior caregivers can gain more caregiving safety skills by taking a 10-hour online Caregiver Certification training course. Professional caregivers are taught the basic safety skills for transferring a senior and assisting with walking when they begin working for a senior care company. Those who would like to work as a professional caregiver should remember that Companion Caregivers only require personal experience (as often seniors with memory loss may require ongoing caregiving just to keep medications and daily activities on track). Caregivers and C.N.A.'s may apply for a caregiving job in their area to begin a career in senior care.
Caregivers employed with senior care companies know the realities of caregiver stress. Caregiverlist invites all family caregivers and professional caregivers to take a moment for relaxation with our photo of the week and inspirational quote. This week take a trip to botanical gardens full of colorful butterflies, to relax and to breath in fresh air. Thank you for caring for our seniors and please refer your friends to apply for part-time and full-time job positions on Caregiverlist.com and visit our career center for additional career tools.
"A habit is a shirt made of iron."
Interviewing job candidates for any position is never easy. Job candidates perhaps don't mean to lie, but the fact is that most do embellish something about themselves to appear more qualified for the job. In some cases the lies may be acceptable - saying you have 2 years of experience instead of 1 year but other lies can be dangerous, especially in senior care.
Have you used a gait belt before? If you say you have when you have not (or if you do not even know what a gait belt is) then you could be putting both yourself and the senior in danger if you are trying to wing-it when using a gait belt for the first time. Same thing with assisting with toileting, bathing and feeding.
Have you had training in dealing with seniors who have memory loss? Senior caregivers who have not had memory loss senior care training will not know some of the simple strategies to use to keep the day going smoothly and to respond correctly to the senior.
Finding the right caregivers for senior care takes talent and experience. This is why senior home care agencies are vital as providers of senior care and this is also why senior care is nothing at all like babysitting. Proper training for senior caregiving is required in order for the caregiving to be both safe and effective to assist in healthy aging.
Those of us who hire people regularly already know that people lie a bit in job interviews. But we have systems in place to flesh out the facts.
Senior caregiving agencies also have systems in place to properly qualify a caregiver's skill level and then provide training which the caregiver is tested on for retention. Care Managers also introduce and train each caregiver for their new client assignments and provide ongoing management. What does the caregiver do when Sue won't take her medications? Call the office and a Care Manager will assist. Very often a third-party person to help manage the care makes all the difference as the senior just wants and needs confirmation from a couple of people to keep their tasks moving throughout their day.
And just to confirm that the system used by licensed senior home care agencies is vital which includes an interview, a follow-up interview, reference checks, training and then a quiz to confirm the training was absorbed.......Brent Weiss and Robert S. Feldman of the University of Massachusetts are profiled in the Harvard Business Review, explaining their study which found 81% of people lied about themselves in a job interview. When the job requirement is more technical, deception increased. Participants in the study told an average of 2.19 lies per 15-minute interview.
Seniors deserve quality caregivers who can show they have been trained and can perform the necessary skills. As more and more states pass new legislation (California currently has 2 bills pending which would both require mandatory training requirements for senior caregivers), the quality of care will only improve. Caregivers should all have basic caregiver training which can be obtained online, meeting industry standards.
Caregivers may learn more about developing the right caregiver interview skills in Caregiverlist's Career Center.