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Tips Prepared by Dr. Barrett

Brain-fog tips compiled by Paul T. Barrett, Ph.D.

Sleep hygiene tips compiled by Paul T. Barrett, Ph.D. Additional information about sleep, sleep disorders and common treatments can be found at sleepeducation.com, presented by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the American Insomnia Association.

Tips for remembering names compiled by Paul T. Barrett, Ph.D.


State and Local Organizations and Agencies

MemoryCare is a non-profit organization in Asheville providing state-of-the-art care and support for those with Alzheimer's and other memory and age-related impairments. They also support caregivers with education, counseling, and improved access to necessary services, and they provide community education.

The North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services has a wealth of information about services, benefits, and protections for older adults in North Carolina.

The Land-of-Sky Regional Council Area Agency on Aging helps adults over the age of 60 in Buncombe, Henderson, Madison, and Transylvania counties by providing a family caregiver support program, a senior community service employment program, and a long-term care ombudsman who serves as a mediator seeking to resolve complaints made by or on behalf of people living in long-term care facilities.

The Council on Aging of Buncombe County offers a variety of services to help older people remain safely in their homes. Seniors Safe at Home, Project ROSCO, Call A Ride, Medicare assistance, advice on taxes, and other services are accessed through their Information and Assistance Program. The Council on Aging can also be reached at 828-277-8288.

The Henderson County Council on Aging advocates for the elderly of Henderson County in all causes affecting their well-being. They coordinate a variety of services, including Meals on Wheels in Henderson County, congregate meals at the Sammy Williams Center, a hearing aid bank, and the Elder Neighbor Program. The Council on Aging also coordinates with Senior Advocates for the Elderly (S.A.F.E.), who assist elderly residents in acquiring needed social services that enable them to remain independent. As part of this program, a social worker visits seniors to assess each individual’s situation and to provide information concerning available services. Caseworkers and volunteers provide assistance in accessing needed services and follow-up. The Henderson County Council on Aging can also be reached at 828-692-4203

The Sammy Williams Center for Active Living in Hendersonville sponsors a variety of activities and programs including exercise classes, arts and crafts, movies, dance instruction, educational activities, and local entertainment. They can also help with volunteer opportunities, health screenings, nutrition, advocacy, information, outreach, and referral to other facilities and agencies.


National Organizations and Agencies

The Alzheimer’s Association provides information about Alzheimer's disease, resources, research advances, publications, and events. It also provides information about the services and programs they offer directly and through local chapters. It is a comprehensive source of information and is highly recommended. Some of their services include the Safe Return program, which provides assistance when a person with Alzheimer's or a related dementia wanders and becomes lost locally or far from home.

The Alzheimer’s Society is the United Kingdom’s leading care and research charity for people with dementia, their families and caregivers. Their website has a great deal of information about Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia.

Alzinfo.org is published by the Fisher Center for Alzheimer's Research Foundation to educate people about Alzheimer’s disease. The website has general information about Alzheimer’s disease, It has a wealth of short news articles about caregiving, drugs and treatment, prevention and wellness, and diagnosis and causes. Most articles have references to the scientific studies they are based on.

The Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral (ADEAR) Center has current, comprehensive Alzheimer's disease information and resources from the National Institute on Aging. The ADEAR Center’s staff of Information Specialists is available at 800-438-4380 (8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday - Friday) to assist people with:

  • Answers to specific questions about Alzheimer's disease

  • Free publications about Alzheimer's disease symptoms, diagnosis, related disorders, risk factors, treatment, caregiving tips, home safety tips, and research

  • Referrals to local supportive services

  • Spanish language resources

  • Clinical trials information

  • Literature database searches for further research and reading

  • Training materials, guidelines, and a newsletter or health care and caregiving professionals

The Administration on Aging (AoA) provides a comprehensive overview of a wide variety of topics, programs and services related to aging. It also has many links other websites providing reliable information and services.

The Geriatric Mental Health Foundation has articles about alcohol and drug abuse, Alzheimer's disease and other dementias, caregiving, depression, geriatric psychiatry, and normal aging. It also has a directory of member geriatric psychiatrists and a list of Internet resources.

The Neurology Patient Page published by the American Academy of Neuropsychology provides:

  • A critical review of ground-breaking discoveries in neurological research that are written especially for patients and their families

  • The most up-to-date patient information about many neurological diseases

  • Links to additional information resources for neurological patients

The Alzheimer’s Foundation provides information about a variety of issues related to dementia and caregiving.

AARP's Staying Sharp Program has five online booklets designed to help you keep your brain in top condition. Topics include quality of life, memory loss and aging, depression, chronic health issues, and learning throughout life.

The Eldercare Locator, a public service of the U.S. Administration on Aging, connects older Americans and their caregivers with sources of information on senior services. The service links those who need assistance with state and local area agencies on aging and community-based organizations that serve older adults and their caregivers. They can also be reached by telephone at 800-677-1116 weekdays from 9:00am to 8:00pm Eastern Time.

BenefitsCheckUp is a free confidential service from the National Council on Aging (a national nonprofit group) that screens for federal, state and some local private and public benefit programs for adults over the age of 54. In addition to identifying the programs that a person may be eligible to receive, BenefitsCheckUp also provides a detailed description of the programs, local contacts for additional information (typically the addresses and phone numbers of where to apply for the programs), and materials to help successfully apply for each program.

Senior Housing Net is a commercial site that describes various housing options for older adults. It also has paid listings of facilities and companies providing various levels of care including independent living, continuing care, assisted living, Alzheimer’s care, and skilled nursing.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety Senior Driver Website has tips and information for keeping your driving skills sharp and a directory of supplemental transportation programs for seniors. There is also a link to AAA's CarFit brochure to maximize the comfort and control of the vehicle you drive.

The Hartford Financial Services Group and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) AgeLab have developed an excellent guide to help people with dementia and their families prolong independence while encouraging safe driving. The guide provides suggestions for monitoring, limiting, and stopping driving. The information incorporates the experiences of family caregivers and people with dementia, as well as suggestions from experts in medicine, gerontology and transportation. These groups have additional information available here.

 


Physician resources

Recommended lab tests for patients with suspected dementia.

Clinical Practice Guidelines on Pharmacologic Treatment of Dementia from the American College of Physicians and the American Academy of Family Physicians.

The American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry’s position statement on principles of care for patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

The Alzheimer’s Association’s has information for healthcare providers to help them meet the challenges of caring for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and their families. This section of the association’s website includes an overview of Alzheimer’s disease, information about diagnosing and treating Alzheimer’s, and suggestions for counseling caregivers and families.

Columbia University’s free web-based continuing medical education program for primary-care practitioners, neurologists, and psychiatrists. This CME program encompasses the differential diagnosis and current treatment options for cognitive and behavioral disorders associated with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. Issues covered include diagnosing and managing dementia (including mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer's disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, frontotemporal dementia, and others), genetic components and testing for dementia, and legal and ethical issues for patients with dementia.

Live Well, Live Long is a collection of health promotion strategies and materials developed by the American Society on Aging through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Modules include strategies for cognitive vitality, optimal medication use, physical activity, nutritional well being, and others.

The American Academy of Neurology’s Dementia Encounter Kit is a set of tools designed for neurologists to bring evidence-based recommendations to the patient/physician encounter.

The American Academy of Neurology’s report on factors neurologists should consider when making a referral for neuropsychological assessment. These factors include the appropriate applications and limitations of neuropsychological testing, specific disorders where evaluation is pertinent, and issues surrounding neuropsychological consultation to neurologists. (update in progress).

The American Academy of Neurology’s Guideline Summary for Clinicians about the detection, diagnosis, and management of dementia.

The American Academy of Neurology’s full report on Mild Cognitive Impairment and the early diagnosis of dementia.

The American Academy of Neurology’s full report on the diagnosis of dementia.

Recommended lab tests for elderly patients with suspected dementia.

The American Academy of Neurology’s practice guidelines recommend the following laboratory tests for elderly patients undergoing evaluation for suspected dementia:

  • Complete blood cell count
  • BUN/creatinine
  •  Glucose
  • Serum B12 levels
  • Thyroid function tests
  •  Liver function tests
  • Serum electrolytes
  • Depression screening

It is generally a good idea to get results from these laboratory tests and treat any reversible conditions before referring a patient for a neuropsychological evaluation.

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