“A Stranger in My House? No Way!” (when someone refuses care)

Seniors At Home is a home care agency in the San Francisco Bay Area. Here’s a good article about talking to an older adult who refuses care:

How to Talk to an Older Adult Who Refuses Care
“A Stranger in My House? No Way!”
Seniors At Home
The article details “eight strategies you can use to navigate tough conversations if there is a resistance”:

1.  Be prepared

2.  Normalize aging and the need for care

3.  Address fears and concerns

4.  Focus on the positive

5.  Share your concerns

6.  Start small

7.  Stick with it

8.  Bring in a professional


Stanford/BSN Webinar – Diagnosing PSP, Wed, Aug 30, 2-3pm PT – Register Now!

Brain Support Network is kicking off a webinar series with Stanford Movement Disorders Center, one of our Northern California partners.

Join us for a free, one-hour webinar on diagnosing progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). The speaker is Stanford movement disorders specialist Kathleen Poston, MD. Please spread the word!


Diagnosing Progressive Supranuclear Palsy

When: Wednesday, Aug 30, 2017
2-3pm Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Speaker: Kathleen Poston, MD, MS, movement disorders specialist, Stanford Movement Disorders Center

Register in advance for this webinar:


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Note: If you can’t make it on August 30th, we encourage you to register for the webinar so that you will be alerted when the recording is available online.


Further details on the webinar topic:

Dr. Kathleen Poston, a movement disorder specialist with extensive experience with PSP, will address these topics:

* how is PSP diagnosed?
* how many years does the average person wait for a diagnosis?
* what are the two main types of PSP?
* what’s the new diagnostic criteria for probable PSP?
* what’s the accuracy of a PSP diagnosis?

There will be time for audience questions on PSP.


Further details on the speaker:

The speaker is Dr. Kathleen Poston, a movement disorders specialist at Stanford University. Dr. Poston research focuses on the development of novel neuroimaging biomarkers to improve diagnostic accuracy and monitor the efficacy of investigational treatments for Parkinson’s Disease and other movement disorders, such as PSP. She is the co-investigator for the NINDS-funded Udall Center of Excellence for Parkinson’s Disease Research.


Further details on the webinar host:

The webinar will be hosted by Robin Riddle, who coordinates a Parkinson’s Information & Referral Center at Stanford. She is also the CEO of Brain Support Network, a nonprofit focusing on the four atypical parkinsonism disorders, including PSP.

Brain Support Network is organizing a research update and family conference on Progressive Supranuclear Palsy and Corticobasal Degeneration on Saturday, October 28th, in the San Francisco Bay Area. To be notified when registration opens for this conference, please join the PSP email list.


Register in advance for this webinar:



Questions? Please contact Robin Riddle.

“How to Take Care of Others Without Burning Out”

There’s a good article in Monday’s TIME Health on avoiding caregiver burn-out.

To avoid burn-out, we’re told that self-care is critical. “The question is: What does self-care look like, and how much of it do we need? As it turns out, the trick is to be other-focused and kind, but to balance that with taking care of yourself as well.”

The article lists three “practices” to help you find that balance:
* self-compassion
* social connection
* empathy and compassion

The article ends with this advice:

“Self-compassion, social connection, and empathy are powerful forms of self-care—but that doesn’t mean that traditional self-care activities have no place in our lives. Keeping your spirits up with exercise, sleeping in and making room for fun activities like movies or shopping are important. These pleasures give us short bursts of happiness that can help fuel us and keep us playful in life. To complement these more physical pleasures, however, giving and connecting with others in positive ways will bring us long-lasting feelings of joy that come from a life of purpose and meaning.”

Here’s a link to the full article:


Mental Health/Psychology
How to Take Care of Others Without Burning Out
Emma Seppälä
Aug 07, 2017
TIME Health



The need to distinguish between Alzheimer’s and other dementias

This is a long article in a recent LA Times about whether it’s important to distinguish between Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Understandably, the focus is still on Alzheimer’s Disease.

Here are some excerpts:

* “Alzheimer’s disease is the most feared and most common form of dementia, accounting for between 60% and 80% of all dementia cases diagnosed. But at least seven other forms of dementia, and dementia linked to the movement disorder Parkinson’s disease, can cause loss of memory, reasoning, judgment and the ability to speak, comprehend and care for oneself.”

* “Doctors and insurers, including the federal government, which administers Medicare, are asking some variants of the same questions: If an effective test, which costs between $3,000 and $5,000 a shot, can diagnose dementia early, and distinguish Alzheimer’s from other forms of dementia, should it be recommended to patients with cognitive concerns and routinely covered by their insurance? Would it make patients’ lives better, or lower the cost of their care?”

* “At the Alzheimer’s Assn. International Conference in London last week, researchers reported their preliminary findings from a trial that is testing the impact of diagnostic testing for Alzheimer’s disease on nearly 19,000 Medicare beneficiaries … with a diagnosis of either ‘mild cognitive impairment’ or atypical dementia. The study … set out to find out whether knowing — getting the costly test that would offer either confirmation or reprieve — would change the way that patients with cognitive troubles are treated, or the way that they plan their lives. The preliminary results suggested it did. After getting the results of a PET brain scan to detect and measure amyloid deposits, which are the key hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease, roughly two-thirds of the subjects saw their medication regimens changed or were counseled differently by their doctors about what to expect. That new information may have guided family caregivers in planning their own futures, or prodded patients to make financial decisions and power-of-attorney assignments sooner. Some who learned that they did not have Alzheimer’s discontinued medications that can have unpleasant side effects. Others learned they do have Alzheimer’s and decided to enroll in clinical trials that will test new drugs.”

* “A second study presented in London analyzed data from several studies, and found that in a large population of research participants with cognitive concerns, brain amyloid PET scans led to a change in diagnosis in approximately 20% of cases.”

* “To the estimated 16 million Americans living with some form of cognitive impairment, telling the difference could make a significant difference. Dementia forms with different origins progress differently (or sometimes not at all). They respond best to different medications, and will come to require different levels of care and treatment. Some (though not Alzheimer’s) can even be reversed with treatment. Being able to distinguish which form of dementia a patient has should help doctors and caregivers to make better choices.”

Here’s a link to the full article:


Science Now
Is it Alzheimer’s or another dementia form? Why doctors need to distinguish and how they might do so
by Melissa Healy
LA Times
July 27, 2017