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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Alzheimer's trial stirs talk of senior sexuality

Whether Mom still wants sex probably isn't top-of-mind when most people are picking a nursing home for their loved one.
But experts from the Widener University-based Sexuality and Aging Consortium say a ground-breaking Iowa court case illustrates why both consumers and long-term care facilities should do more thinking about sex - before they get into trouble.
In the case, Henry Rayhons, a 78-year-old former member of the Iowa House of Representatives, is charged with sexual abuse for having sex with his wife of seven years in her nursing home. She had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. A doctor at the Garner, Iowa, facility where Donna Rayhons lived, along with her two daughters from a previous marriage, had concluded that she was too impaired to consent to sex.

The case, which is now at trial, raises complex questions about what constitutes consent for a person with dementia and how nursing homes should prepare for the inevitable: People of all ages want and need sexual contact.
"Our need for touch is universal, from birth to death," said Robin Goldberg-Glen, a social work professor at Widener who is co-president of the consortium.
The group, which includes about 40 experts on sexuality and aging from around the country, educates professionals and students in an attempt to reduce discrimination and advocate "for the rights of people in long-term care to have their sexuality respected and their choices respected," said co-president Melanie Davis, a sexuality educator in Summerville, N.J.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/health/20150418_Alzheimer_s_trial_stirs_talk_of_senior_sexuality.html#xVRc1T78BMmeWkAO.99

Unequal Until the End

For the affluent, old age has its challenges. For the impoverished, it's only harder.

“No one understands old but old people.”

James made this proclamation over an ancient pool table in an impoverished neighborhood of the greater San Francisco Bay. The other men gathered at the senior center nodded in agreement. A slender African American man who grew up in segregated Georgia during the Great Depression, he elaborated for the benefit of the Gen-X sociologist by his side. As James deliberately lined up his next shot he explained: “Everything changes. Old is a different animal all together. And the only way you can understand it is you have to get there.”

Read more: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/04/unequal-until-the-end/389910/ 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Tackling dementia and non-communicable diseases together

Tackling dementia and non-communicable diseases together is featured at 30thconference of Alzheimer’s Disease International 

Perth, 16 April 2015:  Risk reduction in dementia and other non-communicable diseases (NCD’s) were the focus of several workshops at the 30th InternationalConference of Alzheimer’s Disease International held April 15-18, 2015 at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, Perth, Australia

Professor Martin Prince from King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, highlighted how dementia risk for populations can be modified through tobacco control, education and better prevention, detection and control of hypertension and diabetes

According to World Alzheimer Report 2014 ‘Dementia and Risk Reduction: An analysis of protective and modifiable factors’, dementia and NCDs are collectively driven by the same shared risk factors and social determinants; Very often they experience the same challenges, myths and misconceptions and demand similar approaches and solutions

That was the theme of an NCD dialogues session wherepolicies for prevention of dementia and other NCDs’ as well as key actions taken by individuals and businesses to minimize exposure to risk factors, where discussedThere is strong call for dementia to be integrated into both global and national public health programmesalongside other major non communicable diseases (NCDs).

As the global voice on dementia, ADI hopes that the conference will aid the crucial collaborative action that is now required from all disease areas to tackle one of the largest health epidemics of the 21st century. “An increased focus on healthier lifestyles, and implementation of effective public health campaigns may help to reduce the global risk.” says Marc Wortmann, ADI Executive Director.

Paul Zollinger-Read, Chief Medical Officer at Bupa, explains: “With half of the world's population in work, workplaces are a natural avenue to promote the behaviour change needed to tackle dementia and other NCDs, where we can start to change the conversation from 'getting ill' to 'staying well.' Prevention is key, and dementia and NCDs are driven by the same shared risk factors. As with cancer, diabetes and heart disease it should become second nature to think that 'what's good for your heart is also good for your brain."

Co-hosted with the Alzheimer’s Australia (WA), this global conference unites a dynamic community of international researchers from all over the world, dementia care professionals, medical experts, healthcare practitioners, people with dementia, family caregivers and Alzheimer organisations to address significant issues that 44.4 million people living with dementia worldwide have to face

Information on the programme and on the conference can be found at: http://www.adi2015.org

About Alzheimer’s Disease International
ADI is the international federation of 83 Alzheimer associations throughout the world.  Each of our members is a non-profit Alzheimer associationsupporting people with dementia and their families.  ADI was founded in 1984 and registered as a non-profit organisation in the USA.  Based in London, ADI has been in official relations with the WHO since 1996 and has consultative status with the UN since 2012.  

ADI's vision is an improved quality of life for people with dementia and their families throughout the world. ADI believes that the key to winning the fight against dementia lies in a unique combination of global solutions and local knowledge. As such, it works locally, by empowering Alzheimer associations to promote and offer care and support for people with dementia and their carers, while working globally to focus attention on dementia and campaign for policy change from governments. 

For more information, visit www.alz.co.uk

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