Dr. Mehmet Oz is host of the popular TV show “The Dr. Oz Show.” He is a professor in the Department of Surgery at Columbia University and directs the Cardiovascular Institute and Complementary Medicine Program and New York-Presbyterian Hospital.

Dr. Mike Roizen is chief medical officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute, an award-winning author, and has been the doctor to eight Nobel Prize winners and more than 100 Fortune 500 CEOs.


Dr. Mehmet Oz,Dr. Mike Roizen

Tags: Drug-Free | Alzheimer's | Management | Strategies | behavioral | symptoms | overstimulation

Drug-Free Alzheimer's Management Strategies

Wednesday, 19 December 2012 07:57 AM

In "Elegy for Iris," John Bayley tells of his enduring love for novelist Iris Murdoch as she sank into Alzheimer's disease. When she'd insist on wearing socks while swimming or would constantly ask, "When are we going?" he was flexible and inventive in his responses. Now research confirms what Bayley knew instinctively: Caretakers can do a lot to lessen Alzheimer's behavioral symptoms — without using medications.

Delusions, aggressive behavior, irrational fears, agitation, repetitive behaviors, wandering, loss of inhibition, or vocal outbreaks may be triggered by everything from overstimulation (too many people, too much noise or activity) to physical pain, such as arthritis. Determining a behavior's trigger and removing it can be life-changing — for the person with Alzheimer's disease as well as for the caregiver. Here are some examples of how caregivers have modified behaviors:

• Night after night, an 84-year-old mom would go into her daughter's bedroom complaining she was frightened. Solution: Daughter left a night light on in her bedroom and installed a white-noise machine to block out "mystery" noises that might be upsetting. Everyone slept better.

• Grunts and sighs punctuated an 80-year-old man's dinner-table conversation, upsetting everyone in the household. His daughter-in-law suspected that he was in pain. Solution: An exam revealed he had nerve pain in his feet — made worse when he sat on a wooden chair. A cushion and a footstool have made his dinner appearances much calmer.

These examples show how small adjustments can have big payoffs for everyone! You'll be surprised at the improvements you can make happen.

© 2012 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

© HealthDay

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Small changes that don't involve medication can make a difference in the lives of Alzheimer's sufferers and their caregivers.
Wednesday, 19 December 2012 07:57 AM
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