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Judy Raises Almost 8K for the Alzheimer’s Association

Judy Raises Almost 8K for the Alzheimer's Association

As you probably know, Judy Loubier is passionate about ending Alzheimer’s. Her latest way to help promote Alzheimer’s research was to be part of the Alzheimer’s Association’s fundraiser. The Longest Day Ever is the Alzheimer’s Association fundraiser for research. Judy rowed 25,000 meters to fundraise.

Judy Raises Almost 8K for the Alzheimer's Association

Judy Raises Almost 8K for the Alzheimer’s Association

 

The point of “The Longest Day” is to spend the longest day of the year, June 21st, doing something you love. All over the country, teams signed up for different beloved activities. For Judy and her friends, that activity was rowing.

They had actually manage to surpass their original fundraising goal of $5,000 and almost made it to $8,000.

Judy especially liked rowing for this fundraiser because there is no cure for Alzheimer’s. All you can really do is stay active, social, and learn new skills or language to keep your brain active.

Rowing has all those components.

The first half of the day, they rowed singles. The second half was dedicated to doubles. They chose 25,000 meters because it was hard.

“It needed to be hard enough because Alzheimer’s is hard,” Judy said. It’s hard on the patient, caregivers, and loved ones. “It had to have meaning.”

They named their team the Clarity Crew: Rowing to Remember.

Judy’s Connection with This Disease

 

For those who don’t know, Judy’s mom was diagnosed with vascular dementia after a stroke in 2012. Her aunt also has Alzheimer’s.

The struggle that both her mother and father gave her the idea for Seniors Helping Seniors NH. SHS NH has helped hundreds of clients and around 60 to 70% of them had some form of dementia.

Judy’s rowing mates also had family members affected by Alzheimer’s.

You can hear the whole SHS NH origin story here on Judy’s Caring for Seniors radio segment.

Read more about Judy’s fundraising in the Nashua Telegraph here.

Ties Between Depression and Dementia

Caregivers Are the New Working Moms

A fairly recent study done by the University of California looked into the ties between depression and dementia. Their main focus was on mid-life and late-life depression. They believed that there is some sort of relationship between the two that could help with early detection and care for dementia.

Ties Between Depression and Dementia

The Ties Between Depression and Dementia

 

The study was long and with a large pool of participants. The study was over the course of 45 years and had 13,535 people. The way they were able to do this was through a program called Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program of Northern California.

Participants got a voluntary health examination called the Multiphasic Health Checkup (MHC) in San Francisco and Oakland during 1964–73 when they were 40–55 years old.

As part of the mid-life study, participants were asked if they felt unhappy or depressed for long periods of time. Those who answered yes were considered depressed.

The study’s authors also checked health records to see if anyone was hospitalized due to depression. Late-life depression was determined through electronic medical records provided by Kaiser.

The Results

 

Dementia diagnoses were determined through electronic records as well during the years of 2003 through 2009. Participants were classified into one of four depression groups: no depressive symptoms, mid-life only, late-life only, or both.

The results from the year 2003 were that 72.5 percent had no depressive symptoms at mid-life or late-life, 14.1 percent had mid-life symptoms only, 9.2 percent had late-life symptoms only, and 4.2 percent had both.

During the 6-year follow-up period, 20.7 percent of subjects with no depressive symptoms developed dementia compared to 23.5 percent of those with mid-life symptoms only, 31.4 percent of those with late-life symptoms, and 31.5 percent of those with both mid-life and late-life symptoms.

Depression that comes for the first time late in life may reflect the earliest symptoms of dementia in some individuals. According to the study, it’s possible that earlier recognition of dementia could facilitate better management of healthcare through earlier treatment with memory-enhancing agents, when they are most likely to be effective, as well as greater involvement of caregivers, simplification of medication regimens and earlier discussions regarding goals of care.

You can read the whole study here.

Art Helps Alzheimer’s

Art Helps Alzheimer's

As discussed many times before, having a loved one with Alzheimer’s is hard. What makes it harder, is the difficulty that comes with communicating. This was the struggle that Berna Huebner had her mother Hilda Gorenstein. Gorenstein was a former painter so Huebner asked if she wanted to paint. Little did Huebner know that she would discover that art helps with Alzheimer’s in more ways than we can imagine.

Art Helps Alzheimer's

Art Helps Alzheimer’s

 

Gorenstein when asked if she wanted to paint said, “Yes, I remember better when I paint.” She had painted at the Chicago World Fair in 1933 and 1934. Even though she wanted to paint, she wasn’t able to focus.

Her doctor suggested that Huebner contact her alma mater, School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Check if there were students who could paint with her. A few students came and within weeks Gorenstein was painting again.

Fast forward to 1999 Huebner founded Hilgos Foundation to provide grants for art students to work with Alzheimer’s patients. Ten years later, she co-directed a documentary, I Remember Better When I Paint. It shows the positive effects of art and other creative therapies on Alzheimer’s patients. It has been shown internationally and been broadcast on public television.

In 2016 a Swedish study, showed that people with Alzheimer’s have a preserved ability to paint. Also that painting can be extremely beneficial. A different study around the same time found that painting can help with cognitive ability and help with the more emotional aspects of having dementia. Now there are art therapy workshops popping up all over the country and the world, allowing dementia suffers to speak without using words.

Read the whole article here.