Nurturing OPICA Members’ Spirituality

In the Spirit Builders’ group, I begin by introducing myself, and go around the room, asking members to introduce themselves.  This reinforces the idea that we are here and connected in this community, encouraging engagement.  Several members have shared in previous groups that they love coming to OPICA, and that “it sure beats staying at […]

Technology for Adults with Dementia

Millions of American are caring for a loved one with dementia at home and many turn to tracking and monitoring devices to help them manage the daily juggle of working, ensuring their loved one’s safety and maintaining their own sanity.L There’s a lot riding on technology that could keep people in their homes longer.  As […]

Caregiver Depression: A Silent Health Crisis

One of today’s all-too silent health crises is caregiver depression. A conservative estimate reports that 20% of family caregivers suffer from depression, twice the rate of the general population. Of clients of California’s Caregiver Resource Centers, nearly 60% show clinical signs of depression. And former caregivers may not escape the tentacles of this condition after […]

Radical New Approach to Treat Alzheimer’s

In a small lab in Jackson Hole, Wyo., 65-year-old Paul Cox believes he’s closing in on a treatment that might prevent Alzheimer’s disease. And ALS. And a host of other neurodegenerative diseases, for that matter. Cox, we should point out, isn’t a neurologist. He isn’t a physician of any kind. He doesn’t work at a […]

Cannabis and Dementia

Cannabis, also known as marijuana, is a controversial topic in the medical community, with some well-respected doctors advocating for its use and others concerned about its addictive properties and long-term effects. There have been a number of articles in newspapers and blogs over the years that claim that cannabis or one of its components called cannabinoids […]

Accepting Alzheimer’s, One Lost Memory at a Time

After my diagnosis, I silently held out hope that it had all been a big mistake. With a slow moving disease like Alzheimer’s, there’s still time for doubt. Perhaps the diagnosis is wrong and the memory holes and struggle for words are just normal aging. Deep in your psyche, there’s still a little spark of […]

Special Caregiver Concerns

Caring for a person with dementia can be all consuming. Researchers have found that a person who provides care for someone with dementia is twice as likely to suffer from depression as a person providing care for someone without dementia. Not only do caregivers spend significantly more hours per week providing care, they report more […]

Dementia is Getting Some Very Public Faces

(First appearing in the New York Times) When retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor  released a letter announcing that she’d been diagnosed with dementia, probably Alzheimer’s disease, she wrote,“As this condition has progressed, I am no longer able to participate in public life,” she wrote. “I want to be open about these changes, and while […]

Family Conflict Caused by Alzheimer’s

Sadly, an ill loved one is the number one trigger for family conflict, according to a study conducted by the Home Instead Senior Care® network. Coping with the reality of a loved one’s Alzheimer’s not only has its emotional difficulties, but logistical ones as well, especially in terms of decision-making and bearing the responsibility of […]

The jokes about “old-timers’ disease” aren’t funny and they’re inaccurate.

We think of Alzheimer’s patients as septuagenarians in nursing homes, but then there’s early-onset Alzheimer’s, which strikes, well, early. Early-onset of the disease can begin when people are in their 30s, 40s, or 50s. Because early-onset is often more difficult to diagnose, there is unfortunately a delay to diagnosis – If recognized early treatment, which […]