Aging & Caregiving in the News

Information, updates and tidbits from across the country and around the world

In this issue:

  • Effective disinfecting
  • Memory screening for everyone older than 65
  • Are you slowing down without noticing?

Silly picture of man with bottle of disinfectant spray

Is Your Disinfectant Doing the Job?

If you're like most people these days, you've got a spray bottle of germ killer at hand to sanitize surfaces in your home. But experts from the American Chemical Society say a lot of us are using that spray like we would a cleanser—and that won't kill the coronavirus. We might not even be using a real disinfectant! And improper use could put us at risk of poisoning. Watch this entertaining video to learn what you might be doing wrong. As the narrator says, "Go forth and disinfect!"

Experts Recommend Annual Memory Screening for People 65+

The American Academy of Neurology has released a guideline for doctors suggesting that all patients older than 65 receive a brief annual memory test. "We cannot expect people to report their own memory and thinking problems because they may not recognize that they are having problems or they may not share them with their doctors," said Dr. Norman L. Foster of the University of Utah.

Dr. Foster says early detection of Alzheimer's disease and other dementia is important because it can help patients and families plan. This screening might even identify reversible causes of memory problems, such as sleep disturbances, depression, hearing loss or medication side effects. The AAN guidance also calls for identifying family caregivers and providing them with information and support. Read more about the guidance here

Are You Slowing Down Without Noticing?

Senior woman walking with a walking stick

A sudden health crisis or injury—perhaps a stroke, a broken ankle or a serious case of COVID-19—can cause us to dramatically curtail our exercise regimen. One day we're taking part in our usual vigorous workout, the next day we might be in bed all day. But according to a study from Finland, people with more slowly progressing health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease or arthritis, may slow down so gradually that they don't realize they're getting less and less exercise.

Prof. Urho Kujala of the University of Jyväskylä says that a customized exercise plan can keep these patients active. "Exercise therapies tailored to the type of disease can significantly improve individuals' physical functioning, mobility and possibilities for independent living," said Kujala. "It is important that those with long-term illnesses are able to move, taking into account the safety issues related to the illness, of course. More attention should be paid to the use of exercise therapy in healthcare." Read more about the study here.

Source: IlluminAge Communication Partners; copyright 2020 IlluminAge
Photo at top courtesy of the American Chemical Society