ElderCare Beacon Newsletter
October 1, 1999 Vol. 2, No. 10
ElderCare Online The Internet Community of Elder Caregiversä http://www.ec-online.net
"Tell me why Show me how Hold my hand" (sm)
Its hard to believe that ElderCare Online has been up and running for one year now! October 1, 1999 marks 12 months of service to elder caregivers and caregiving professionals. Throughout, we have striven to provide practical information, hands-on skill training and empathetic support. Judged by the responses of caregivers, researchers and the media, we are doing a fine job.
I have heard more than enough about the impending wave of retiring Baby Boomers and the speculation about the need for new care options in the future. The demand for information, education and support that I see from you is a clear signal that caregivers to aging loved ones is a very real issue now. The needs of current caregivers are driving this website. Being able to assist you caregivers today is a great reward. Thank you for allowing us to serve you.
On a personal note, I want to thank the dozens of individuals who have offered their assistance to make this site a premier destination for elder caregivers -- the many experts who have hosted chats, the professionals who offered assistance and advice, the sponsors who are making this site financially viable, the caregivers who are helping their peers with challenging problems and my friends and family who have provided tremendous support. Simply, thank you.
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
Alzheimers Prevention Research Study
ALZHEIMERS PREVENTION RESEARCH STUDY
At present we do not know how to prevent Alzheimers Disease, but several studies have shown that women who took estrogen replacement, mostly for the treatment of menopausal symptoms, have a reduced risk of developing AD. These studies suggest that estrogen may be helpful, but they are only observational studies and they must be followed by a clinical trial to determine if estrogens are truly effective in preventing AD. Researchers at Columbia University in New York, the Mayo Clinic in Florida and Johns Hopkins University in Maryland are conducting the PREPARE study to determine whether estrogen can prevent Alzheimers Disease.
PREPARE stands for PREventing Postmenopausal Alzheimers with Replacement Estrogens. It is a three-year study to determine if estrogens can prevent memory loss and AD in women with a family history of AD. The effect of estrogens will be compared to a placebo (sugar pill) to determine if the effect is real. In a double-blind study neither the participant nor the investigator knows who is getting the active medication and who is not.
Some may ask, "Why not just take estrogen to avoid getting AD?" Since we do not know with certainty that estrogen prevents AD, it is not recommended for this purpose. In addition, we do not know very much about the safety of estrogen use in older women. Each woman must evaluate her own personal and family medical history. If AD is the primary reason for your interest in personal estrogen use, you may want to help by joining this study. By participating, you can get the fastest answer under the safest conditions.
You may question what it is like to be a member of a clinical trial. If you qualify to participate in this study, you will be given a physical and neurological examination as well as tests to assess memory and other cognitive functions. If you are eligible after completing these procedures, you will also receive a breast examination, mammogram, gynecological examination and a pap test. You will have a blood test to measure the amount of estrogen in your blood. These procedures will be repeated yearly for the duration of the study.
If you or someone you know:
- Is a woman, 65 years of age or older, in general good health,
This article was provided by Christine M. Weber, M.A., G.H. Sergievsky Center, Columbia University
CAREGIVER TIP: COMPANIONSHIP SERVICES
Many times you are not able to spend as much time with your elder as you or your elder would like. If your elder is apathetic, depressed, homebound or in a nursing home you may consider companionship services. Aloneness and loneliness are worrisome to medical professionals and family members. If you suspect your elder is suffering from depression, bring it up during her next doctor visit. Treatments are available.
Companionship services can include visiting with your elder, talking to her, reading to her, engaging in time-passing activities or personal care tasks that the residents staff or you can not attend to. Often the companion will visit daily for about an hour. This can be reassuring to both you and your elder.
Home care aides often want to spend at least 4 hours with your elder, and that can get expensive. Medicare does not reimburse charges for companionship services. As an alternative, you can ask one of the certified nursing assistants (CNAs) at the facility (or at a nearby hospital or nursing home if your elder is homebound) to come by for an hour each day to spend time with your elder.
Make sure that you interview anyone who may come into your elders home. Ask for references and speak with the aides current supervisor. Consult the article "Choosing In-Home Care Assistance" in the Home Care & Independent Living Channel for a detailed list of questions to ask, search tips and contracting issues. Ask your local aging agency, geriatric care manager, Alzheimers Association chapter or home health agency for referrals to established companionship services.
NEWSLETTER SPONSOR: webofcare.com
COMPARISON SHOPPING ON THE INTERNET
The Internet is being touted as a shoppers paradise. And it very well may be! Some computer websites have sophisticated comparison shopping software that allows you to find the lowest advertised price on the Internet with just a few mouse clicks. Since this software has not yet made it to the supermarket, weve done a little homework and compared prices for two popular eldercare products: Ensure Nutritional Drink and Depends Fitted Briefs. Let us know of other products that you would like to see in this newsletter.
Ensure Nutritional Drink 24 x 6oz. cans
* free shipping for a limited time
Depends Fitted Briefs (Medium) 44 units
* free shipping for a limited time
Disclaimer: Prices were collected on 31 August 1999. Please note that these prices are subject to change and are not guaranteed in any way by ElderCare Online or Prism Innovations, Inc.
Disclosure: ElderCare Online receives commission payments from NetGrocer and drugstore.com for purchases made through this newsletter and the ElderCare Online website. Please support us by ordering products through this website.
RESIDENTIAL OPTIONS CHANNEL ADDITIONS
The Residential Options Channel contains articles and helpful tools for families considering housing alternatives for their elders. All information is geared toward helping you improve your elders quality of life. Weve added three new articles to the Residential Options Channel:
NEW NEIGHBORHOOD NETWORK RESOURCES
If you are looking for local resources such as low-cost legal aid, assistance with insurance claims, senior centers or state government services, then you will love our "Neighborhood Networks." These link pages are a boon to long-distance caregivers! Links fall into the categories of Government Resources, Alzheimers Support Groups, Country Agencies, Local Resources and Associations. Please let us know if you find the links useful and if you know of any other helpful links that should be shared with other caregivers. This month, we added comprehensive links for 5 more states Georgia, Minnesota, New Jersey, South Carolina and Virginia.
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