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September 2012

Spice up those neurons … with spices!

By Alternative Medicine, Blog No Comments

The elderly in India who consume turmeric in their curries daily have the world’s lowest rate of Alzheimer’s.

Scientists used to think that you were born with all the neurons you’d ever have.  Then in 1998 researchers discovered the birth of new neurons in individuals who were near death.  Turns out your brain – no matter how old or young – can generate new neurons.

One key to brain growth?  Diet.  What you eat helps generate healthy neurons with bushels of dendrites (nerve receptors).  It also keeps nerve endings firing and allows you to maintain brain flexibility.

Consider the …
Super Spice Turmeric

The National Institutes of Health lists 24 current studies on the effects of turmeric and its chief active component, curcumin.

Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a culinary spice, a major ingredient in Indian curries, and the  source of American mustard’s bright yellow color.

So, will a little Indian curry help your brain?  Used as both medicine and food for centuries, accumulating evidence suggests that this relative of ginger is a promising preventive agent for a wide range of diseases, probably due largely to its anti-inflammatory properties that fight some cancers and multiple sclerosis.  The chemical curcumin that makes turmeric yellow appears to activate a key antioxidizing enzyme that reduces plaque buildup.

According to Dr. Andrew Weil, turmeric contains more than two dozen anti-inflammatory compounds, including six different COX-2-inhibitors (the COX-2 enzyme promotes pain, swelling and inflammation). Studies at the University of California found that in rats prone to accumulate beta-amyloid plaque in their brains – the abnormality associated with Alzheimer’s disease in humans – curcumin blocked the plaque’s accumulation. It also reduced inflammation related to Alzheimer’s disease in neural tissue and the rats fed curcumin performed better on memory tests than rats on normal diets.

Three More Spices that Boost Brain Power

Saffron fights depression in humans, as well as improving learning and memory in animals. Saffron twice daily was as effective as Prozac in treating mild to moderate depression, according to a 2005 study in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology.

Sage, the aptly named herb, is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Chinese sage root contains compounds similar to Alzheimer’s disease drugs, and just 50 microliters (.001690 fl oz) of sage oil extract significantly enhanced memory, according to research in Pharmacological Biochemical Behavior.  Sage is a great addition to salads, in soups, even on pizza. It tastes and smells better fresh.

Cinnamon is one of the oldest spices known to man.  Its uses and benefits have been documented as early as 2700 B.C. throughout China, Europe and Egypt. Cinnamon offers anti-clotting and anti-microbial benefits, boosts brain function and contributes to a healthy colon. It may also help control blood sugar in people with diabetes

Read more about Cinnamon HERE.

Contact LifeCall Medical Alert Systems, one of the leading providers of BOSCH in-home health care monitoring solutions for seniors and at-risk persons seeking to retain their independence and remain in their own homes.

Alzheimer’s – Searching For A Breakthrough

By Alzheimer's Resources, Blog, Uncategorized No Comments

The statistics are astounding.  The demographics frightening.  The costs outrageous.

We are talking about Alzheimer’s, the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States and the only cause of death among the top 10 in the United States that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed.

5.4 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease.

Payments for care are estimated to be $200 billion in the United States in 2012.

Advancing Medical Research
As the leading funder of Alzheimer’s research, the federal government is supporting significant new research into the causes of Alzheimer’s and finding ways to delay, prevent, or treat the disease.

Behold The Simple Grape
The newest clinical trial funded by Washington features Resveratrol, found naturally in the skin of grapes. Research shows that resveratrol acts as an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory. Resveratrol may provide certain health benefits, but research on the health effects of resveratrol in humans is somewhat limited.

Find Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Clinical Trials

Fighting Alzheimer’s
The 2011 National Alzheimer’s Project Act requires the development of a national plan to accelerate research toward treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s, and to improve care, services, and support to people with Alzheimer’s, families and caregivers.

Learn more about what Washington is doing to help those facing Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

Progress In The Search For A Cure
The news on the Alzheimer’s clinical trials and research front seems to change on a monthly basis.  The latest progress concerns a team of researchers in Iceland who have discovered a genetic mutation that appears to prevent people from getting Alzheimer’s. This mutation slowed the production of a protein called beta amyloid in the brain.

This is an important finding, but it needs to be put in perspective.  The protective mutation is so rare that only one in ten thousand people carry it!

Alzheimer’s research is a dynamic field.  If you are interested in following this research, the Alzheimer’s Association offers one of the most comprehensive websites. Click below:

Contact LifeCall Medical Alert Systems, one of the leading providers of BOSCH in-home health care monitoring solutions for seniors and at-risk persons seeking to retain their independence and remain in their own homes.

Why Private Duty Home Care Is Affordable

By Blog, Healthcare Providers, Home Care Agencies No Comments

Who Provides Home Care?
Big Differences and Why They Matter

There are different and varying models for home care services – the Private Duty/Home Care Agency, the Home Care Registry/Referral Agency, and the Privately Hired Caregiver.

The Home Care Agency
Home care services are best when provided through an agency that employs, trains, bonds and insures, and background checks its caregivers.

Private duty home care agencies are companies that provide home care aides, companion care, homemaker services and may provide nursing services in the client’s home. “Private duty” means private pay.  In other words, no government monies are used for the cost of care. The most common methods for covering the cost of private duty home care is through long term care insurance benefits, out of pocket, or other types of savings arrangement

The Home Care Registry
On the other hand, a home care registry is an organization that helps you locate a caregiver and places one in your home on an independent contractor basis.  Registries do not employ caregivers, nor do they take responsibility for their training and supervision.

A private caregiver or an independent contractor with a home care registry may be highly compassionate, lower in cost, and an overall good fit with the client, but remember you will be liable for the payroll taxes and possible work related injuries of the caregiver.

Hiring a caregiver who is not continuously trained by an agency that employs him or her creates a situation where you don’t know if the caregiver has the skills to perform the needed tasks.

If your family cannot assume the full range of responsibilities, you would be better off working through an agency.  If the family chooses to hire privately, you need to consult a lawyer and an accountant to assure that they make proper arrangements for all of their obligations.

An Affordable Option
When compared to the costs associated with a retirement community, private duty home care is a cost effective option. The average annual cost of one nursing home resident is $69,715. The average annual cost of one assisted living facility resident is $36,372.

Seniors who want to remain in their homes can often do so with a few hours of care a week. For example, 20 hours of companionship home care a week costs approximately $1,500 a month or an average annual cost of $18,000.

Long-term care insurance will reimburse you for whatever home care you choose, and of course you want your benefits to last as long as possible.

To find an agency in your area turn to the National Private Duty Association (NPDA), the nation’s leading association for providers of private duty home care. They have a searchable database to provide consumers with a comprehensive list of NPDA members nationwide.

Click Below To Locate The NPDA Member Agencies In Your Area

Contact LifeCall Medical Alert Systems, one of the leading providers of BOSCH in-home health care monitoring solutions for seniors and at-risk persons seeking to retain their independence and remain in their own homes.