Do you have Aging Parents – Dr Holly on NFTS
Last Update: June 20, 2018 at 11:26 am
Do You Have Aging Parents?
DATE: June 13th, 2018
Do you have aging Parents?
Unfortunately, some of us have already lost our parents, but many of us still have aging parents. Aging seniors can be a real challenge. Often they start out with the aches and pains of arthritic conditions and according to Western medicine have cholesterol issues and high blood pressure. Then comes the dementia.
The challenge with Western medicine is that they simply give more and more medications to manage the symptoms. Most of the arthritic conditions can be eliminated – I am a good example. I had both osteo and rheumatoid arthritis and got rid of both, along with fibromyalgia! One of the Entwined Collection of books, waiting for publication, is about how to eliminate arthritis rather than manage it. I have written and published a book on the heart and it explains how the whole Cholesterol Myth got started and why it is such a scam. And how eating a Granny Smith apple a day OR walking a mile a day can do better than statin drugs. Tons of research, clinical studies and articles have been written on garlic and how something as simple as taking a clove of garlic (smashed/not cut and swallowed/not chewed) can reduce many of the causes of high blood pressure.
So that leaves us with dementia – the topic for today. The definition of dementia is: a chronic disorder caused by brain disease or injury and characterised by memory disorders, personality changes and impaired reasoning. There are 9 main categories of dementia, although most people are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Despite the fact that Alzheimer’s is misdiagnosed 68% of the time. And that is just what is currently understood.
Lewy Body Syndrome is now considered the second major cause of dementia but has only been recognized in the last 5 years. One study claims that most doctors miss the signs of Lewy Body Syndrome and misdiagnose as Alzheimer’s. The autopsy for Robin Williams revealed that he suffered from Lewy Body Syndrome and apparently was one of the worst cases they had seen – yet it wasn’t diagnosed. In fact, Lewy Body Syndrome has been one of the most misdiagnosed forms of dementia despite its prevalence. 85% of those with Lewy Body Syndrome are misdiagnosed, usually as Parkinson’s and/or Alzheimer’s! In fact, one study claimed that 15% of the patients with LBS saw at least 5 physicians before getting a correct diagnosis and typically it took longer than a year for a correct diagnosis.
One study claims that 67% of doctors changed their diagnoses of Alzheimer’s when a PET scan was done!! One of the biological hallmarks fo Alzheimer’s is beta-amyloid plaques and tau tangles in the brain. They often have visual hallucinations as well
The existing drugs for Alzheimer’s only temporarily slow down the loss of cognitive function but have no effect on the underlying causes of the biological process. If it isn’t Alzheimer’s the drugs can do a lot of harm.
So what is Lewy Body Syndrome? Lewy bodies are a combination of nitrated, phosphorylated and ubiquitinated proteins clustered together and surrounded by a network of neurofilaments inside the neurons causing impairment and gradually degenerating the nervous system. They can be found in the nigrostriatal pathways of the brain causing the Parkinsonian like symptoms. They can be found in the optic neural pathways causing Macular Degeneration like symptoms. They are found in the brainstem, basal ganglia, cortical neurons. The highest concentration is usually in submandibular gland and lower esophagus causing symptoms like xxx . The lowest concentration is usually in the rectum. In between, they are found in the salivary glands, stomach, duodenum, colon and rectum.
If your parent suffers from Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or Macular degeneration but also has gut issues, first thing to look for Lewy Body Syndrome.
From the senior’s perspective, they are going to be frustrated. When they start losing their physical capacities and their bodies are just not capable of what they used to be able to do it; their movement gets disorganized; they start to shuffle when they walk; or tremors prevent them from achieving what they are struggling to do from the most basic functions to the more complicated functions, it is frustrating. When their cognitive capacities start to go slow down: their ability to think clearly; solve issues; make decisions; remember basic things; diminished capacity to concentrate or pay attention; misperceptions of space and time; etc. it is understandable why they can get frustrated and angry.
For the senior, it is even more difficult in the initial stages of watching their bodies and minds go downhill when they have greater awareness of what they are losing. We can appreciate how frustrating and depressing this must be for them. As it progresses we can understand how anger can evolve. When they don’t understand or don’t want to understand, their anger can get projected onto those around them.
Naturally with aging, personality characteristics that used to be subtler are now exacerbated. As their world becomes more constricted, they become more ego centric in their thinking. We see personality changes occurring. The three most common patterns seen in people with dementia are: anger and lower tolerance levels; paranoia (suspicion that people are taking or hiding things); and delusions (incorrect beliefs).
Other issues that may become prevalent are:
- They become overly sensitive to stimulus: loud noises; bright light; temperature changes
- Their capacities may fluctuate – good one day and poor the next
- They may need more sleep
How does the caregiver cope?
- Don’t take it personally – have compassion for them
- Don’t argue or present a different opinion – they will end up feeling agitated and negated
- Let them know you hear them and you understand – no one likes to be ignored or negated
- Provide them with some articles they might understand about what is happening to them – you need to do this carefully; they need to be able to own what is going on – do they have the capacity to do that; are they in the right mood to read the article;
- If they are misplacing things – and the paranoia comes up – have a spare item to replace for them
- Help those around them – family and friends – understand what is going on, so they can have compassion too
- Switch the topic of conversation so they can focus on something else
- Make them a part of the household community – giving them chores they are capable of doing; be careful not to set them up for failure
- Be aware of the time of day they function the best – don’t give them chores in the afternoon if that is when their function capacity is lowest
- If their hearing is going (whether it be structural or neurological) try to remember to speak up for them – it is frustrating when you can’t follow a conversation
- Keep conversations simple – don’t expect them to organize too many questions; don’t expect them to follow a series of directions; or have the capacity for discussions
- It is a really good opportunity to learn that being accurate or “right” really isn’t that important…prioritize their emotions over the need to be accurate or right
- It is also a good opportunity to develop compassion and empathy
- AND it is also a good opportunity to learn how to set good boundaries for yourself. If you burn out being in service to others, two people lose. Take the time to recognize what you need to do for you to take care of you.
Here’s to everyone’s health.
Dr Holly is heard at NOON PST Wednesdays on News for the Soul Radio and you can find more articles and books by Dr Holly at DrHollyBooks.com
Wednesdays at NOON PST / 3PM EST – The Whole Health Initiative with Dr Holly – BASED IN CANADA – AN NFTS GLOBAL LUMINARY SINCE MARCH 2014 – Dr. Holly is a Doctor of Natural Medicine, a scientist, a professional speaker, an author of Cancer: Why what you don’t know about your treatment could harm you and 12 other books and a practitioner. As a Doctor of Natural Medicine with 7 degrees & 3 designations in a wide range of healing modalities and 20 years experience, she can assist you in identifying and understanding your path to health. She can identify your underlying life themes, coping mechanisms, value systems and defense mechanisms to understanding the physiology and biochemistry and energy patterns of your body. She has a mobile health clinic that comes to your door and can assess 1000s of variables in front of you AND create a protocol unique to you. In addition, she provides consultation for physicians and clients around the world.