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All Posts in Category: Alzheimer’s

What is LBD?

Lewy body dementia (LBD) is not a rare disease. It affects an estimated 1.4 million individuals and their families in the United States. Because LBD symptoms can closely resemble other more commonly known diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, it is currently widely under diagnosed. Many doctors or other medical professionals still are not familiar with LBD.

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Lewy Body Dementia Symptoms and Diagnostic Criteria

Every person with LBD is different and will manifest different degrees of the following symptoms. Some will show no signs of certain features, especially in the early stages of the disease. Symptoms may fluctuate as often as moment-to-moment, hour-to-hour or day-to-day.

LBD is a an umbrella term for two related clinical diagnoses, dementia with Lewy bodies and Parkinson’s disease dementia.

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10 Things You Should Know about LBD

Lewy body dementias (LBD) affect an estimated 1.4 million individuals and their families in the United States. Even though many families are affected by this disease, few individuals and medical professionals are aware of the symptoms, diagnostic criteria, or even that LBD exists. There are important facts about Lewy body dementias that you should know if you, a loved one, or a patient you are treating may have LBD.

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Long-Distance Caregiving for Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Taking care of concerns, such as a family member’s safety, nutrition and health, can be difficult when you live in another city, state or country. But getting organized and being prepared can go a long way in helping coordinate care from a distance.

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Unraveling the Complexities of Dementia

Neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease affect millions of people worldwide. Alzheimer’s disease alone afflicts more than 5 million Americans and is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Biomedical investigators have long tried to understand why certain brain regions are vulnerable to neurodegenerative diseases but not others. Dr. Marc Diamond believes he may have found the answer: understanding how the tau protein aggregates in brain cells. Read more about Dr. Diamond and his team’s research at UT Southwestern here.

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Family Caregiver Support Group:
You Are Not Alone

Caring for a loved one or family member can be physically, mentally, and emotionally challenging. But you are not alone. Our Family Caregiver Support Group is a safe place where members can share experiences, insights, advice and encouragement.

Lisa Shardon and Emily Grooms will lead the Family Caregiver Support Group in discussing various caregiving topics each month, offering ways for caregivers to respond to loved ones’ needs. If you need resources to care for a loved one or family member, this is the place for you.

Join us the second Friday of each month from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm at the Home Health Companions office. Space is limited. Please call (214) 295-8213 to reserve your spot.

Upcoming Dates

  • Friday, October 13
  • Friday, November 10
  • Friday, December 8
  • Friday, January 12

Home Health Companions Office
8215 Westchester Dr.
Suite 213
Dallas, TX


Lisa Shardon is president of Home Health Companions and an Aging Life Care Professional. She serves the Alzheimer Association of Greater Dallas as a Trailblazers facilitator for those who have been diagnosed with early-stage dementia and their care partners. Additionally, Shardon is a member of Alzheimer’s Women’s Association for Resources and Education.

Emily R. Grooms is a gerontologist focused on total care in assisted living and residential Alzheimer’s and dementia settings. She is a General Partner of Assisted Living at Silver Gardens as well as Assisted Living and Memory Care at Royal Gardens, specializing in care for residents with difficult and challenging behavior.


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University Scientists Make Breakthrough in Alzheimer’s Research

University of Michigan researcher Ayyalusamy Ramamoorthy, a professor of chemistry and biophysics, made a breakthrough in his research on age-related diseases, and he and his team have received a grant from National Institutes of Health to conduct further studies.

The team has discovered a protein that appears to be significantly linked to the cell death that causes memory loss in Alzheimer’s patients. They are working on discovering how this protein and the cell’s membrane interact to cause this cell death.

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Decoding the Dementia, Depression Link

Memory trouble, excessive sleeping, decreased interest in hobbies and activities, social withdrawal—all of these are symptoms often exhibited by a person who is suffering from depression.

They also happen to be hallmark signs of many dementias, including the two most common forms: Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.

The undeniable connection between these depression and dementia has ignited a firestorm of research in recent years. Much of the scientific debate centers on a quintessential chicken and egg dilemma—which comes first: depression, or dementia? Can being diagnosed with dementia cause someone to become depressed, or is depression a harbinger of cognitive impairment to come?

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The Connection Between Pain and Depression

Does pain cause depression, or does depression cause pain? Many research studies have been conducted trying to establish and analyze the connection between pain and depression. A review of several of these studies concluded (in part) that there was more pain found in those seeking help with depression and more depression in those seeking help with pain than when either condition was examined individually.

The two common medical conditions frequently occur together, respond to similar treatments, share the same brain chemistry pathways, and can become worse when not treated as co-existing diagnoses. In spite of this, underlying depression is seldom recognized by the physician or the patient when pain is the reason for the office visit.

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Medications for Alzheimer’s Disease

Once a diagnosis is made, the first question that comes to mind is, “What type of treatment is available?” Is there medication? Is there a cure? These are common concerns once dementia enters the picture.

Although current medications cannot cure Alzheimer’s (AD) or stop it from progressing, they may help lessen symptoms in some people, such as memory loss and confusion, for a limited time.

We have gathered information from the Alzheimer’s Association and the National Institute on Aging regarding drugs that are approved by the FDA to treat AD.

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Why a Daily Routine is Helpful for People with Dementia

Whether indulging in a morning cup of coffee, or going for a lunchtime walk around the block, daily routines provide us with a sense of comfort and control over our otherwise hectic existences. The relieving nature of a regular routine can be even more potent for people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

People suffering from memory loss “thrive on familiarity,” says Holly Hart, L.V.N., director of residential health services at Claremont Manor, a CCRC in Claremont, California. “Familiar faces, a familiar environment, even familiar food—anything they can use as a touchstone.” This comforting sense of familiarity is so helpful because dementia gradually impairs a person’s ability to plan, initiate and complete an activity.

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The Seven Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease

It is instinctive for humans to want a roadmap or some sort of guide to help get us through a journey or a difficult situation. Where is the next turn? What is the next step? It is a basic human thought pattern. We strive to know what lies ahead to help ensure that we are adequately prepared.

After we find out that a loved one has Alzheimer’s disease (AD) or any other disease, it is only natural to explore the subject with some research. What can we expect and when can we expect it?

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Long-Distance Caregiving: Geriatric Care Managers Can Help

It is a concern many caregivers have: “Should I encourage my parents to get more help? The last time I visited, my mom seemed very confused, like she just wasn’t quite there. Dad didn’t seem to notice and didn’t want to talk about it when I asked him.”

If you do not see your parent often, changes in his or her health may seem dramatic. In contrast, the primary caregiver might not notice such changes, or realize that more help, medical treatment, or supervision is needed. Sometimes a geriatric care manager or other professional is the first to notice changes. For families dealing with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, it can be easier to “cover” for the patient—doing things for him or her, filling in information in conversations, and so on—than to acknowledge what is happening.

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CultureMap’s 2014 Charity Challenge

Do us a favor…

The Alzheimer’s Women’s Association for Resources and Education (A.W.A.R.E.), one of our favorite charitable organizations, is in the running to be CultureMap’s Charitable Organization of the year. If won, A.W.A.R.E. will become CultureMap’s community service project for 2014 plus gain a $2,500 donation, but they can’t do it alone. If you could take 2 minutes to vote we could raise more money, time, and awareness for Alzheimer’s Disease. You can vote once a day, everyday from December 9 – December 20.

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National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month

As declared by President Reagan, November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. At the time there were only 2 million Americans diagnosed with the disease. Now there are more than 5.4 million people struggling with Alzheimer’s.

We at Home Health Companions promote a healthy lifestyle for all generations so that there is a smooth aging process. One of the ways we contribute is through memory screenings across the DFW metroplex. These memory screenings can detect some of the very early signs of memory loss, dementia, and Alzheimer’s. Home care in Dallas is a way to help those first diagnosed and struggle with dementia and Alzheimer’s. We would be more than happy to consult with you about what option is best for you and your family.

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Putting a Face to Alzheimer’s Disease

Maria Shriver was back at the news desk this week shedding a light on Alzheimer’s Disease and it’s lack  of activism. Compared to America’s other grave diseases, Alzheimer’s receives half the funding Cancer, Heart Disease, and HIV/AIDS receives from The National Institute of Health. For example, The National Institute of Health spends $6 billion on cancer research, $4 billion on heart and cardiovascular disease research, 3$ billion on HIV/AIDS research and only $480 Million on Alzheimer’s research. Celebrities such as Maria Shriver, Seth Rogan, and Lauren Miller are rallying the troops with lavish events such as Hilarity for Charity. By “making [Alzheimer’s] a part of the conversation,” Rogan believes they can raise awareness for the disease within a younger demographic. Alzheimer’s Disease still has a long way to go. There are plenty of opportunities for advances, awareness fundraising, and marketing in order to instill the seriousness of Alzheimer’s Disease.

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6th Annual BvB Powder Puff Game

Blondes vs. Brunettes (BvB) is a powder-puff football game hosted for a day of fun, fellowship, philanthropy and enjoyment as a way of raising money and awareness for the Alzheimer’s Association. BvB is a personal way for young professionals across the country to raise awareness, funds and support to help eradicate this grave disease. BvB Dallas has been the most successful city by raising over $1,018,000 in 5 years for the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Dallas Chapter.

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Start Active and Stay Active to Guard Against Dementia

An idle mind is the devil’s workshop. Maybe not the devil’s, but it can give you a greater chance at developing dementia. A study published in Neurology followed almost 300 elderly people, half of whom developed dementia, for over six years. The participants reported how often they engaged in mentally stimulating situations throughout their life (i.e. extracurricular school activities, reading books, writing letters, exploring libraries, etc.). By studying the participants’ brain autopsies, scientists discovered a 14% variable in mental decline that can be attributed by the amount of their intellectual activity they participated in throughout their life.

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Champagne Benefits Memory Loss

A new study is in the works to determine if 1 to 3 glasses of champagne a week can help prevent memory loss. According to scientists at the University of Reading, the phenolic compounds found in champagne can improve spatial memory which records information about one’s environment. The phenolic compounds favorably alter a number of proteins linked to effective memory storage. Many of these proteins are known to be depleted with age, making memory storage less efficient, and leading to poorer memory in old age and conditions such as dementia. Champagne slows these loses and therefore may help prevent the cognitive losses that occur during typical and atypical brain aging.

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Town North YMCA Free Memory Screening

It’s that time of year again! November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month and we’re hosting a free memory screening.

Where: Town North YMCA. 4332 Northaven Road, Dallas, TX 75229
When: Tuesday November 13, 2012. 9:00am – 1:00pm

For more information please feel free to call us at 214-295-8213 or email us at 

We look forward to seeing you there!

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Farmers Branch Free Memory Screening

It’s that time of year again! November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month and we’re hosting a free memory screening.

Where: Farmer’s Branch Senior Center. 14055 Dennis Lane, Farmers Branch, TX 75234
When: Wednesday November 14, 2012. 11:00am – 1:00pm

For more information please feel free to call us at 214-295-8213 or email us at 

We look forward to seeing you there!


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International Teamwork to Fight Alzheimer’s

The United States along with Australia, Denmark, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom released its National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease and initiative started by the National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA). The plan is to increase funding and manpower to discover more effective ways to treat and help Alzheimer’s sufferers and their caregivers to better cope with the disease.

NAPA asks other countries who have already implemented their own plans for help to combat the disease. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has vowed to meet with representatives from other nations, hoping that a collaboration with foreign officials will help generate effective and unique ways to tackle the Alzheimer’s epidemic. This part of the plan isn’t likely to get as much press as the premier goal to develop an effective treatment for Alzheimer’s by the year 2025, but it does present a windfall of potential help worldwide for those dealing with the disease. Most countries share the similar goal of eliminating Alzheimer’s, but different nations have different strategies for helping people cope.

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FREE Memory Screening & Oral Cancer Screening

Home Health Companions along with Assisted Living at Silver Gardens, Josey Lane Dentistry, and Third Age Services LLC is sponsoring a memory and oral cancer screening. These are confidential screenings targeted to help promote a healthy aging process. Alzheimer’s disease affects as many as 5.1million Americans, so in conjunction with The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, we are offering a memory screening for those looking for a safe, cost-efficient resource. By providing an oral cancer screening with the Head and Neck Cancer Alliance, we are helping people prevent oral cancer, which includes: tongue, tonsil, sinuses, larynx, thyroid, and salivary gland cancer.

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November is National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

We can’t always see it coming.  Sometimes signs present themselves, but even then, denial from the dementia victim and family is more common than not.  We are referring to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. These words are still scary because so much is not known about the causes of Alzheimer’s. You are not alone, and that so much IS known about this disease. Senior care doctors and researchers are working vigorously to find a cure and improve in home care.

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Walk to End Alzheimer’s

Join the Alzheimer’s Association’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s and unite in movement to reclaim the future for millions. Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the nation’s largest ten to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Together, we can end Alzheimer’s disease — the nation’s sixth cause of death. For more information and to register please visit:

When: November 12, 2011
Where: Fair Park (Texas Court of Honor 3939 Grand Ave. Dallas, TX 75210.

Registration begins at 8:00am and the walk begins at 10:00am.

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Free Memory Screening

November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. Join us on November 15, 2011 in celebrating National Memory Screening Day by getting a free, confidential memory screen offered by the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. This event is free and refreshments will be provided.

When: November 15, 2011 from 3:00pm – 7:00pm

Where: Casey Joyce All-American Post 4380. 3420 Avenue K, Suite 122 Plano TX 75074 (Located on the NE corner of Parker & Ave. K. Approximately .4 miles east of 75N)

This event is sponsored by: Assisted Living at Silver Gardens, Barron Law Firm, Lakeview at Josey Ranch, Third Age Services, and Home Health Companions.



























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