12 WAYS TO HELP AN ALZHEIMERS CAREGIVER

One in 10 Americans over age 65 years and almost half of those over age 85 years have Alzheimer’s disease or a related type of dementia.  Alzheimer’s disease (AD), the most common form of dementia, involves a gradual breakdown of nerve cells in the brain. Affected persons lose the ability to interpret information and send messages to their bodies to behave in certain ways. Over time they experience mental, emotional, behavioral and physical changes, necessitating increasing amounts of….

PROBATE BASICS

Probate is the legal process of transferring ownership of property from the decedent to his or her heirs either by accepting the validity of their last will and testament or by following the Kentucky laws of intestacy.  For a will to be valid, it must be “self-proven” or proven as valid in court by at least one of the witnesses.  A valid will can also be holographic: written entirely in the handwriting of the decedent, signed, and dated.

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CONTAINER GARDENING

Gardens are great, but they require a lot of time, labor and money. They also require land space and good soil. Container gardening skirts all these obstacles, offering reduced time, effort and costs, and can be enjoyed in an apartment or other home lacking a yard. Vegetables and herbs can be grown in containers on a balcony, patio or walkway.

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Eleanor sat in her doctor’s office, listening to a strange diagnosis. She had been searching for a cause for her diarrhea, irritability and depression for over four years. Had she finally found it?


“You have celiac disease,” said the doctor. “This is a serious condition. Eating wheat, rye, barley and possibly oats causes damage to the lining of the small intestines. That’s what is causing all your symptoms. You’ll be placed on a gluten-free diet. That alone is the treatment and your condition will improve. The damage to your intestines will heal over the course of the next few years, if you adhere to the diet.”


Eleanor heard the doctor with a mixture of relief and wonder. She was thankful to finally know what her problem was and how to take care of it.


Celiac disease, according to the National Institutes of Health (www.nih.gov), is a condition where there is damage to the villi, the areas in the lining of the small intestines. The damage is a direct reaction to eating gluten, a substance found in wheat, rye, barley and possibly oats. It is also found in food made from these ingredients. When the villi are damaged, they are unable to properly absorb iron, vitamins and other nutrients. This can lead to problems such as bruising, depression or anxiety, hair loss, itchy skin, missed menstrual periods, muscle cramps and joint pain.

CELIAC DISEASE IS A SERIOUS CONDITION

Celiac disease affects 1 percent of healthy, average Americans. That means at least 3 million people in the country are living with celiac disease, and 97 percent of them are undiagnosed. People with celiac disease are more likely to have autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus, thyroid disease, Down syndrome, intestinal lymphoma and more.


According to the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center (www.cureceliacdisease.org), celiac disease affects each person differently. Symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, gas, bloating and indigestion may occur in the digestive tract or there may be symptoms in other parts of the body. Other symptoms include nausea and vomiting, foul-smelling or oily stools or unexplained weight loss. In a landmark study on celiac disease, investigators determined 60 percent of children and 41 percent of adults diagnosed during the study were asymptomatic.


The treatment, as Eleanor’s doctor said, is to adhere to a gluten-free diet. People with celiac disease should read food labels to determine if a product is safe for them to eat. There are now more than 2,000 gluten-free food items available in the United States, from cookies to pasta and more.


SOURCES

•  Celiac Disease Foundation (www.celiac.org)

JEAN JEFFERS

Jean is an RN and a freelance writer. She is a staff writer for Living Well 60 Plus and Health & Wellness magazines. Her Web site is at

www.normajean.naiwe.com

more articles by jean jeffers