ParentCare » Vol. 8

Caregiving Now! Research, Trends, and Products

By Erin Hansen

Error-Proof Automatic Pill Dispensers

caregiving-now-pill-dispenserMany elders take numerous doses of medication throughout the day, and missed or incorrect doses can be potentially dangerous, if not fatal. We cannot always be there to make sure that a dosage is taken and taken according to direction; fortunately, there is a line of automatic pill organizers and dispensers that can do the job for us. E-pill.com offers medication organizers & automatic pill dispensers for all types of medicines, vitamins, and supplements ~ whether in tablet, capsule, or pill form. Medications are dispensed on time and in the correct dosage from a locked, automatic box. Some of the most popular styles include:

• Med-Time XL: e-pill Automatic Pill Dispenser (up to 28 x per day, capacity 28 medication times, up to 28 days)

• MD.2 Monitored Automatic Pill Dispenser with Voice Alarm: e-pill Monitored Automatic Pill Dispenser (up to 6 x per day, monitored, capacity 60 medication times, up to 60 days)

• Compumed: e-pill CompuMed Tamper Proof Automatic Pill Dispenser (up to 4 x per day, capacity 28 medication times, 7 days)

For more products and product descriptions, visit www.epill.com/dispenser.html

Breakthrough for Parkinson’s Disease Sufferers

Ethos, the Swiss based pharmaceutical company that made the headlines back in 2003 with their ‘miracle eye drops’ that dissolve cataracts naturally without the need for invasive surgery (www.ethos.ag) and again in 2006 with their ‘miracle anti-aging face cream’ (www.rejuvion.com) have now made an incredible breakthrough for Parkinson’s Disease sufferers the world over.

Finally, they have made a revolutionary new breakthrough in the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease. Ethos Endymion PD Ease is not some new wonder drug but is an all natural substance found within all of our bodies that depletes with age. Ethos Endymion PD Ease is the purest form of this natural substance found anywhere in the world and is also certified as ‘bio-active’ by Professor Gallant and Professor Boldyrev who are the world leading authorities on this compound and who we have to thank for proving the beneficial effects it gives Parkinson’s Disease sufferers through their latest clinical trial. Not all people with Parkinson’s have a hard time doing things most of us take for granted such as being able to walk and use our hands. With Parkinson’s disease, daily life becomes first laborious, then impossible. Possibly even more debilitating, Parkinson’s disease gradually deteriorates brain cells, so that thinking becomes more and more scrambled.

Ethos Endymion PD Ease crosses the blood-brain barrier where it goes to work repairing damage at a cellular level, which in turn helps to relieve the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. To read a personal testimonial and a much more detailed and technical explanation, please review the Ethos PD Ease website: www.pdease.com.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin is getting a lot of attention for revealing that he is genetically pre-disposed to getting Parkinson’s Disease. Brin let his wife test his DNA and found out about the Parkinson’s link. He writes, “I know early in my life something I am substantially predisposed to. I now have the opportunity to adjust my life to reduce those odds (e.g. there is evidence that exercise may be protective against Parkinson’s). I also have the opportunity to perform and support research into this disease long before it may affect me.”

If Ethos and Brin can strike up an alliance it will make a very powerful combination. Between them, they will be able to step up to commercial scale production with their new compound derivative drugs that will turn up the effects still further and help literally millions of sufferers worldwide to enjoy a far better quality of life.

In the meantime, Ethos Endymion PD Ease will give sufferers today dramatic improvements. To read complete clinical trial papers, visit www.pdease.com.

Omega-3s: Mixed Findings for Elderly

Omega-3 fatty acids may help some older adults avoid dementia and live longer, but they may not brighten the moods of seniors who aren’t depressed.

That’s the short version of three new studies from the September issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The studies focused on older adults and omega-3 fatty acids, which the body needs to be healthy and can only get from food ~ like salmon, herring, walnuts, and flaxseeds ~ or supplements.

Though the three new studies all focus on older adults, omega-3 fatty acids are important for people of all ages. The new studies “…underscore the potential importance of maintaining high dietary omega-3 fatty acid intakes throughout life,” states an editorial published with the studies.

Omega-3s and Better Survival

One of the studies indicates that having high blood levels of the omega-3 fatty acid EPA, which is found mainly in fish but not in plants, may contribute to longevity.

The study took place in Norway. The researchers measured omega-3 fatty acid blood levels in 254 frail, elderly people (average age: 82) admitted to a Norwegian hospital.

Over the next three years, the patients with high blood levels of EPA were less likely to die than those with low levels of EPA.

That finding may stem from EPA’s heart-healthy benefits, since heart disease was to blame for most patient deaths. Other omega-3 fatty acids — and omega-6 fatty acids, which are more common than omega-3s in the typical American diet — didn’t affect the results.

Less Dementia With Omega-3s

In the second study, people with high blood levels of EPA were less likely to develop dementia.

The study comes from France, where researchers tracked new cases of dementia over four years among some 1,200 people aged 65 and older.

When the study began, participants provided blood samples. During the study, people with higher EPA blood levels were less likely to develop dementia. And people who ate fish regularly were less likely to develop dementia during the study.

The results held regardless of other factors including age, depression, education, diabetes, and the ApoE4 gene mutation (which makes Alzheimer’s disease more likely).

Better Mood? Maybe Not

The third study, done in the Netherlands, showed no mood improvement from taking omega-3 supplements in healthy older adults.

The study included 302 people aged 65 and older who weren’t depressed. For 26 weeks, they either took a high dose of EPA and DHA (another omega-3 fatty acid found in fish but not in plants), a lower dose of EPA and DHA, or a placebo. They didn’t know what type of pill they were taking.

Before-and-after scores on depression surveys showed no mood-boosting perks for the omega-3 supplements. But that may be because participants didn’t have depression to begin with, or because the surveys weren’t designed to capture mood improvements in people without depression.

From The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, September 2008 and WebMD Health News.

Elderly Sleep Apnea Sufferers May Live Longer

New research results suggest that sleep apnea which has often been linked to increased rates of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality may actually contribute to higher survival rates in the elderly. The findings by Technion-Israel Institute of Technology researchers were presented last Thursday at the bi-annual European Sleep Research Society Congress in Glasgow, Scotland.

Led by Prof. Peretz Lavie of the Faculty of Medicine, the study was conducted over a 4.5-year period, with researchers comparing mortality rates among elderly subjects diagnosed with sleep apnea to those of the elderly in the general population. Results were divided according to age, sex, and ethnic origin.

When mortality rates of 611 elderly patients with “light or no” sleep apnea, “moderate” sleep apnea, and “severe” sleep apnea were compared with the general population, those suffering from moderate sleep apnea had a mortality rate one-third of that of the general population. And mortality rates for the elderly with no sleep apnea, light sleep apnea and severe sleep apnea were on par with those of the general populace.

“These findings, when combined with new findings in scientific literature of the adaptive influences of intermittent hypoxia (lack of oxygen) in various clinical models, strengthens our hypothesis that sleep apnea activates defense mechanisms among the elderly that provide them with survival advantage,” said Lavie.

Although sleep apnea is more prevalent among the elderly than among the young and middle-aged, the medical implications among the elderly are still not well known.

Affecting 10 percent of men and five percent of women, sleep apnea has been found to constitute a significant risk for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. The findings from many studies, including some conducted at Technion, show that patients with sleep apnea are at a higher risk for mortality, particularly if they are overweight.

The research was conducted in the Lloyd Rigler Laboratory for Sleep Apnea Research at the Technion Faculty of Medicine.

The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology is Israel’s leading science and technology university. Home to the country’s winners of the Nobel Prize in science, it commands a worldwide reputation for its pioneering work in nanotechnology, computer science, biotechnology, water-resource management, materials engineering, aerospace and medicine. The majority of the founders and managers of Israel’s high-tech companies are alumni. Based in New York City, the American Technion Society (ATS) is the leading American organization supporting higher education in Israel, with 22 offices around the country.\

Testing an Elder’s Driving Skills

caregiving-now-driving-skillsLoved ones often do not realize how much their driving skills have deteriorated. Reaction time slows. Motor control and coordination suffer as well.

Age should never be the dominant factor in determining if an older person is fit to drive; some drivers may be very capable and safe at 80, while others no longer operate on a safe level at 55 or 60. Older drivers are also frailer than their younger counterparts. Even a small accident can have serious health consequences.

The simplest way to evaluate an elderly person’s driving skills is to go along for a ride. Offer to ride to the grocery store or somewhere else close by. You don’t have to make it look like a driving test ~ simply offer to go and then take mental notes.

Keep in mind that deterioration of driving skills is a sensitive topic. Tact and sensitivity are essential, but if you are concerned that a loved one might be jeopardizing his safety or that of others, you have a responsibility to monitor his driving and confront the issue, rather than ignore it. Seek the help of other loved ones in your efforts to convince an unsafe driver to turn in the keys.

Good Resource Sites for Caregivers

Caregiving.com: Managing The Stress ~ Making The Decisions ~ Discovering The Meaning. Caregivers can join a free online support group, get a caregiver coach, and read personal stories from other caregivers.

CareGuide.com: Everything families need to understand, plan and manage care for their elderly loved one.

Aging Solutions (www.aging-parents-and-elder-care.com): Valuable resources for those caring for an aging parent or elderly spouse. Site features elder care advice, articles, comprehensive checklists, prescription drug information, free newsletter, and a support group forum.

WebMD.com: A complete caregiver section includes articles on caregiver issues including spousal stress, coping, and caregiver depression.

Connection for Caregivers (http://media.seniorconnection.org/index.htm): Useful information for those who care for seniors. Site features a Free Caregivers Guide, Support Groups, Classes, Online Videos, and many more valuable, timely resources.

AARP (www.aarp.org): AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization for people 50+. Find information on health and wellness, financial planning and careers, travel and leisure, insurance and discounts, and more. The AARP online newsletter includes the latest senior news, online games, a recipe guide, and much more.

Administration on Aging (www.seniorsapprove.com): Information on the senior population and services for the elderly.

Senior Approved Services (www.seniorsapprove.com): Senior Approved Services (SAS) is a national network of products and services that are endorsed by seniors and caregivers. SAS provides the only nationwide certification available, attesting to excellence in eldercare services. Businesses that serve our elderly and their caregivers can apply for certification right through links on the site. The end result of the certification allows the service provider to state that his or her business is Senior Approved.

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