When a family member suffers from dementia, we tend to view it as an individual tragedy. But too often this wrecking ball of a disease takes a toll on the entire family. Even under the best circumstances—with state-of-the-art care, well-intentioned caregivers, and sufficient social and financial resources—the trajectory of most forms of dementia … [Read more...] about The Wall Street Journal: How to Reduce Dementia’s Tragic Toll on Families
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Marc Agronin (@MarcAgronin) is a geriatric psychiatrist at Miami Jewish Health in Miami, Fla., and the author of “The Dementia Caregiver: A Guide to Caring for Someone with Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Neurocognitive Disorders.” If you want immediate appointments, rapidly returned phone calls from a doctor and complete attention to your problem, … [Read more...] about The Wall Street Journal: Get the Most Out of Calling Your Doctor
What do you do when your loved one clearly has a memory problem but is refusing or unable to see it—and will not go to a doctor? For some patients, I need to pretend I’m not a psychiatrist and my office is not a memory clinic. This reluctantly granted deception comes at the pleading of those caregivers who are desperately trying to get help for … [Read more...] about The Wall Street Journal: What to Do When Loved Ones Won’t Admit Their Memory Loss
Even by his own measures, my patient I’ll call Morris considered himself to be going off the rails. Against his better judgment but driven by a compelling and yet mysterious siren, Morris donned a pair of designer jeans and an untucked paisley-patterned shirt, got behind the wheel of his car for the first time in five years, and drove 30 miles … [Read more...] about The Wall Street Journal: Midlife Crisis? How About a Late-Life Crisis.
Marc Agronin (@MarcAgronin) is a geriatric psychiatrist at Miami Jewish Health in Miami, Florida and the author of “How We Age” and “The Dementia Caregiver: A Guide to Caring for Someone with Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Neurocognitive Disorders.” Several years ago, a close family member was diagnosed with breast cancer. The diagnosis was … [Read more...] about The Wall Street Journal: Why Many People Abandon Friends and Family with Dementia–and Shouldn’t
In the search for the next big adventure, retirees are too often missing out on the most fulfilling aspects of later life For many seniors, the bucket list has become the ultimate celebration of aging. Healthier, heartier and richer than generations of retirees before them, they’re spending their golden years chasing once-in-a-lifetime … [Read more...] about WSJ: It’s Time to Rethink the Bucket-List Retirement
MARC AGRONIN: Recently, a woman in her 80s came to my office panic-stricken over a diagnosis of dementia. Her doctor had done a cursory exam of her cognition, bestowed the damning diagnosis, and prescribed twice the recommended starting dose of a medication for her memory. She then began suffering from severe appetite loss and nausea. Missing … [Read more...] about How to Build Your Own Geriatric Team
MARC AGRONIN: Henry went viral. Over 1.7 million viewers and counting have witnessed this wheelchair-bound nursing-home resident being provided with his favorite music piped into headphones from an iPod. This clip, from Alive Inside, a movie about the Memory and Music project that brings donated iPods to individuals in nursing homes, is one … [Read more...] about How Technology Will Revolutionize Long-Term Care
MARC AGRONIN: The news, it seems, is not good. Health-care costs will be overwhelmed, we are told, by the “silver tsunami” that is on the way. Even a gentler description of the coming “age wave” as opposed to a destructive flood still seems to portend trouble. World War G-for-geriatric is at hand and, lacking any true fountain of youth, we are all … [Read more...] about Why Is Aging Still a Joke?
MARC AGRONIN: In 2011, the first baby boomers turned 65. In 2031, these same baby boomers will begin turning 85, and a bubble of supposedly frail and cognitively impaired elders will begin swelling the nursing-home population. Or will they? While it’s true that by 2030 the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that … [Read more...] about The Nursing Home of the Future Will Be in Our Homes