858-876-2548

Medications can cause dementia: Episode 101

Dr. Camille Newton on how medications can cause dementiaDr. Newton wants to educate people on how medications can cause dementia and how to avoid these medications.

The only thing worse than having Dementia is taking care of a loved one with Dementia. Many people do not realize that a large number of medications can cause dementia.

Dr. Camille Newton is a home visiting physician. You may also know it has a traveling doctor or mobile doctor. It is such an important service for seniors that are not able to travel for doctor’s appointments. She focuses on minimizing medications, especially psychotropic pharmaceuticals to help senior’s brains stay healthier longer.

When medications are tested by the FDA to see if they are safe, they are not really tested to see if they cause brain failure.

While performing house calls she has seen the effect psychotropic medications have on people who take them for a long period of time.

Some examples of psychotropic drugs are:

  • Antipsychotics including Risperdal  or Haldol
  • Sedatives especially the benzodiazepines such as Ativan, Xanax, or Valium
  • Anti-depressants
  • Antihistamines

These are some pretty staggering and scary statistics!

According to Dr. Newton, Benzodiazepine use is associated with an increased risk of Dementia. Nearly tripling risk within 3 years. Quitting reduces risk over time, to only 10% increase in risk 3 years after quitting. Benzodiazepine use quadruples the risk of suicide in the elderly. In one study, Benzodiazepines and hypnotics increased suicide risk by 14 times.

Antihistamines can have the anticholinergic effect. This means some of them block a certain neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. This can have a detrimental effect on the brain over a long period of time. This includes Benadryl.

in monkeys, laboratory rats, and humans, the antipsychotics such as Haldol, showed a huge measurable shrinking of the brain within 8 weeks of use.

A person goes to the drug store and they have allergy symptoms. They could choose Claritin or Allegra (which are not anticholinergic) or they could choose Benadryl or Coricidin and end up with dementia within a few years.

Maybe Less is more?

Dr. Newton tells a fascinating story about “Pam” who is a rare case of dementia reversed by getting her off of her medications. Although she has had only a few cases of ‘total cure’, she’s had numerous patients improve dramatically when their anticholinergics were stopped.  These medications are so dangerous to our brains, and yet there is no warning label.  Many of them are over the counter.

A lot of people ask Dr. Newton,”what CAN I take.” Her response is, don’t look for something to take when you are having a problem. Don’t look for a pill to solve your problem and question every medication you are given.

*Please note:  Neither the Rock Your Retirement Show nor the host, Kathe Kline provide medical advice.  Please consult your own practitioner about any healthcare issues that you have.

If you would like to reach out to Dr. Newton, her email is docnewton@att.net

Today’s Freebie, Medications that can cause Dementia, Can be found at http://rockyourretirement.com/Medications

This post about retirement and Retirement Lifestyle first appeared on http://RockYourRetirement.com

Ways to Improve Memory Skills: Episode 097

Angela Gentile on Ways to Improve Memory Skills

Angela Gentile gives us ways to improve memory skills.

Angela Gentile, M.S.W., R.S.W. has over 25 years of experience working with older adults and their families in a variety of capacities. She has worked in health care, private practice, long-term care, home care, and non-profits.

Angela has written a book, and a co-authored a mobile app, Dementia Caregiver Solutions. She is founder and manager of the LinkedIn Group, Gerontology Professionals of Canada and the Aging Well for Women Facebook page. She is currently employed full-time as a Geriatric Mental Health Clinician. She enjoys writing, traveling, photography and exploring what it means to age well.

Angela began working with older people at a very young age. She found she really enjoyed it and made a life long career. She is the “go-to” person if friends and family have questions regarding aging and it has also helped her with her own parents as they age.

All that accumulation of “stuff” doesn’t matter anymore as we age. What matters most are the memories

According to Angela, it is very interesting to see what people are left with after 80 years of living. Sometimes they end up in one little room because they can’t afford a house anymore, or they’ve lost their partner and they just don’t need all that space.

Dementia

We talked about the various types of dementia which include:

  • Alzheimer’s which is the most common form
  • Vascular Dementia which is the type that can most be prevented by healthy lifestyle choices
  • Mixed Dementia which is Alzheimer’s plus vascular combined
  • Lewy Body
  • Korsakoff’s which can be caused by alcohol consumption

What are some ways to improve memory Skills?

  1. Pay Attention
  2. Form habits to help manage misplaced items
  3. Association or cues
  4. Learn it and store it correctly
  5. Keep Physically active. The brain needs oxygen to thrive and survive

Angela has provided a Freebie for my listeners. Five Strategies to Help Improve Memory Skills. This goes over these in more detail and can be found at http://rockyourretirement.com/MemorySkills

Books

Caring for a husband with Dementia: The Ultimate Survival Guide

A Book About Burnout: One Social Worker’s Tale of Survival

Contact information: Phone: (855) 974-4219  *  Email: CareToAge@gmail.com  *  Website: www.AngelaGGentile.com

If you’d like to share your story with Angela and me, go to the show notes at Rock Your Retirement.com and leave a comment.  And you can talk with me and other listeners of the show in our private Facebook Community.  Just click on the community tab of the website.

Dementia Symptoms: Episode 095

Ana González Seda on Early Dementia SymptomsOne in three people over the age of 65 in San Diego have dementia. Today we are talking about dementia symptoms.

Ana González Seda is the Program Director for the San Diego/Imperial Valley Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.  Her position is instrumental in providing face to face and online education and programming for caregivers, people living with Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias. Ana has been working in the non- profit sector for leading health organizations in San Diego for over 15 years.

I asked Ana to come on the show to tell us about dementia symptoms. If you have a parent or loved one that gets diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, I  want you to know what to expect.

If you lose your keys, that is not a sign of dementia. But if you find them in the refrigerator, that could be a sign of dementia

What are the early signs and symptoms of Dementia?

  1. Memory Loss that disrupts daily life
  2. Challenges in planning or solving problems
  3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work, or at leisure
  4. Confusion with time or place
  5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
  6. New problems with words in speaking or writing
  7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
  8. Decreased or poor judgment
  9. Withdrawal from work or social activities
  10. Changes in mood and personality

If you would like a copy of our freebie, 10 Early Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s, go to http://rockyourretirement.com/dementia this gives more detailed information on dementia symptoms.

Contact information:  alz.org  * 800-272-3900- Master level consultants with extensive training regarding dementia. They can help with short term and long term planning.

If you are interested in learning more about Trial Match go to alz.org/trialmatch

This post about retirement and Retirement Lifestyle first appeared on http://RockYourRetirement.com

Avoid an Unhappy Retirement: Episode 094

Hank Coleman on how to avoid an unhappy retirementI interviewed Hank Coleman on how we can avoid an unhappy retirement

Hank Coleman founded several popular personal finance websites such as Money Q&A, Own The Dollar, Military Money Might, The Dividend Pig, and many others.  He is a freelance writer. Hank focuses on personal finance topics such as savings, investing, retirement, and many other money topics. I asked Hank to come on the show to talk about his parents and how much they hated the reality of retirement.

It’s never too early to plan for retirement

Hank has never spoken with his parents about their retirement, however, as an only child, who visits often, he can see that their retirement isn’t as amazing as they thought it would be. His parents had a grandiose idea of what retirement would be like, but when reality set in, it wasn’t as good as the dream they envisioned.  I talk with him about his parents’ retirement over the past 10 years and what he thinks went wrong. For Hank, it was heartbreaking to watch.

So what are Hank’s tips on how to avoid an unhappy retirement?

  1. Make sure your spouse knows your retirement dream. Many husbands and wives don’t talk to each other about what they want to do during retirement. Maybe they don’t want to do anything at all. Having a successful retirement starts with communication.
  2. If you can, plan a mini-retirement before you retire. Hank recommends taking a few weeks off and act like you’re retired. Have you ever dreamt of writing a book during retirement? You may want to consider taking your idea for a spin. You’ll never know if you have what it takes to live the retirement of your dreams unless you try it out
  3. You need a plan for your retirement. Now isn’t the time to start winging it.  The key to a perfect retirement is to have a plan and share with your loved ones.
  4. Don’t be too firmly rooted in your plan. Be open to flexibility as situations and circumstances do change
  5. Before you retire, you should look at how much money you’ll need in retirement. There are several useful online calculators that can show you a quick view of what your retirement will look like.

Contact information for Hank: Email: hank@moneyqanda.com * Website: http://moneyqanda.com

This post about retirement and Retirement Lifestyle first appeared on http://RockYourRetirement.com

Stages of Life with Ted Carr: Episode 093

Stages of Life Image for Ted CarrTed came onto my show as a guest to talk about stages of life, namely the 6 stages of retirement. Mr. Carr is a podcaster himself, with the show, Retirement Journeys, which discusses similar topics as this show, but he also includes financial topics on his show.

In case you’re wondering, the stages of life (retirement life) include:

  • Pre-retirement
  • Retirement
  • Disenchantment
  • Reorientation
  • Retirement Routine
  • Termination of Retirement (death)

Ed was young (mid-50s) when he retired in 2010 from a biotech company in San Francisco.  Because so many people had asked him how he was able to retire so young he decided to take his story online.

Let’s look at some of these stages of life that Ted went through:

Pre-retirement:

This is the time while you are working that you are saving and investing for the time when you will be able to stop working.  Ted did a good job at this, or he wouldn’t have been able to retire in his mid-50s.  Many people don’t plan far enough in advance, for whatever reasons, and so the other stages of life become more difficult for them.  However, that’s not what the Rock your Retirement show is all about so we’ll let you reach out to your financial adviser for help with this.

Retirement:

This is fun for most, but can be the shortest stage of life (retirement life) for many.  That’s because it’s really only a day, a week, a month, or six.  A retirement date.  The retirement stage of life is the party.  You may go out to dinner with your work buddies.  Or you might have a cake on your last day of work.  The parties, balloons, and dinners have become a rite of passage for our actual retirement date.

It can be a second “honeymoon” where you hike, garden, bicycle or create art.  Many people read or catch up on their yard work.

Ted took the “honeymoon” path when he first retired, and he describes this in his blog:

“After I retired in May 2010, I took the “honeymoon” path. In Retirement Journeys, I refer to this as “Arriving in Retirement”, a bridge from work life to retirement life. My wife and I moved from the Bay Area to Arizona in June 2010. Our first few months were spent settling into a new house and community. We had many home improvement projects to work on. We returned to the Bay Area frequently. When I look back at our calendar, I am reminded of the variety of ways that we spent our free time. We attended financial seminars, concerts, car auctions, baseball games and community-based meetings. In May 2011 we bought hybrid bikes and began riding once or twice a week”.1 

But there is only so much hiking, gardening, and bicycling you can do. So that led Ted to the next stage of retirement:

Disenchantment:

This is the letdown stage of life.  The honey moon is over.  It’s when many retirees become depressed. They can feel lonely, bored, useless, and disillusioned.  When they were working, people returned their phone calls.  People respected them.  Now, in this stage, many feel disrespected.

It’s this stage of life that the Rock Your Retirement show tries to help out.

Ted went through this stage too, as we discussed in the interview.  In 2011 he started worrying about whether he had made the right decision.  He didn’t feel productive and started writing in his journal to vent. For many, when they hit this stage, marriage problems can ensue.And it was affecting Ted’s marriage.  So he  looked at some preemptive steps:

  1. Volunteer
  2. Work
  3. Meetup
  4. Deeper Confrontation

Because Ted had started the look inward in this stage of life, he was able to progress to the next stage of life called re-orientation.

Reorientation:

Not everyone gets to this stage.  In order to get through it, you need to re-examine your role in life.  You need to ask yourself what your new purpose in life is.  And you need to find out if you are still useful in some way.  Ted had to answer the question, “Who am I, now?”

Before he could answer that question, Ted took inventory of his life.  He needed to find out why he was so unhappy.  Was it missing his paycheck? Missing the actual work itself?  What was it?

In Ted’s case, he discovered that he had negative feelings toward his alcoholic father.  He read the book, Forgiveness is a Choice, by Robert D Enright. He worked through its exercises.

Ted started volunteering at a local museum.  It gave him purpose and responsibility.  This helped him ease into the next stage of life, retirement routine.

Retirement Routine:

Mr. Carr calls this “Retirement 2.0”  This is where you are living a comfortable and rewarding lifestyle.  It can mean a daily run, volunteer time, or whatever your daily routine is.  For Ted, it means working on his podcast, his blog, and his volunteer work.

Retirement Termination:

Thank goodness Ted hasn’t reached this stage, but he lives by the quote, “Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die tomorrow.”  James Dean

Ted Carr can be reached at www.retirementjourneys.com

 

  1. The 6 Stages of Retirement – Retirement Journeys, The 6 Stages of Retirement, http://retirementjourneys.com/2015/07/the-6-stages-of-retirement/

Retirement as a surviving spouse: Episode 091

Ann Nelson talks about Retirement as a surviving spouseLife is a journey. Lot’s of retirees think about retiring as a couple. But what about retirement as a surviving spouse?

In this interview, I talk with Ann Nelson. After suddenly finding herself a widow in 2009, Ann needed to learn – and fast – about finances, survival, and ultimate retirement. Ann is the author of Retire Well, Retire Happy. On her journey, she has found that in the end, it is not all about the money. Living a happy and worthwhile life is extremely important. Her book is about how she navigated through the retirement maze and found her way after being left a widow.

In 2009, Ann was semi-retired but still working part-time flipping houses with her husband when he passed away.

Ann knew she had to figure out her retirement as a surviving spouse

We talked about the very sudden and surprising passing of her husband who had a heart attack at the dinner table. This was the catalyst for the following chain of events in her life:

  • She found herself making burial and funeral arrangements
  • Anne had to continue renovating homes herself. She worked for about a year before fully retiring. She did find working helped keep her mind busy.
  • Then she also realized she had to learn how to sort out finances due to her husband’s death

It wasn’t until she went back to her and her late husband’s home town, she began to grieve.  You have no control over grief and you have to allow yourself the time to grieve. Even though it’s been over 8 years since her husband passed she still grieves sometimes.

She had to reimagine herself and where she was going since her life had changed so much

Ann has been keeping herself very busy in her retirement. She is writing and has her own podcast. Ann is also a retirement consultant and has taken courses to learn about investing.

She is also a member of a variety of groups:

In her book she not only talks about the investing and finances in retirement, she also talks about being happy in retirement. (You know I LOVE that!) The non-financial aspects of retirement such as traveling, learning and living arrangements.

Her book is called Retire Well, Retire Happy and can be found on her website: http://www.annnelson.com.au/

Ann’s advice: Unless you are involved in outside activities, retirement can be a struggle. Prepare for retirement as a couple but also prepare and think about retirement as a surviving spouse.

This post about retirement and Retirement Lifestyle first appeared on http://RockYourRetirement.com