How to improve your memory: 8 techniques to try

Most people have occasional lapses in memory, such as forgetting a new acquaintance’s name or misplacing the car keys.

Most of the time, this is simply a sign that a person is a bit too busy or is preoccupied. On the other hand, having a consistently poor memory can be problematic for someone.

Many factors play a role in memory loss, including genetics, age, and medical conditions that affect the brain. There are also some manageable risk factors for memory loss, such as diet and lifestyle.

While not all memory loss is preventable, people may be able to take measures to protect the brain against cognitive decline as they age.

Full story at Medical News Today

Dementia care program improves mental health of patients, caregivers

UCLA-led research finds that a comprehensive dementia care program staffed by nurse practitioners working within a health system improves the mental and emotional health of patients and their caregivers.

While the program did not slow the progression of dementia, it did reduce patients’ behavioral problems and depression, and lower the distress of caregivers, the researchers found.

The paper is published in the peer-reviewed Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

The findings, based on data from the UCLA Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care Program, suggest that such programs are a promising approach toward improving the psychological health of patients and caregivers, said Dr. David Reuben, chief of the UCLA Division of Geriatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and the study’s lead author.

Full story at Science Daily

LTC Properties Inks $38M Deal for Two Ignite Transitional Skilled Nursing Facilities

LTC Properties (NYSE: LTC) on Friday announced a $38 million pair of transactions that will see the real estate investment trust (REIT) strike up a new relationship with transitional-care operator Ignite Medical Resorts.

The two separate agreements consist of a $19.5 million deal to purchase a recently constructed 90-bed skilled nursing facility in the Kansas City market, and an $18.4 million land-and-development deal for a second 90-bed SNF set to open in the fall of 2020, LTC chief investment officer Clint Malin said during the company’s second-quarter earnings call.

The Niles, Ill.-based Ignite Medical Resorts, a chain with a focus on high-end transitional care properties, will serve as the operator for the two Missouri buildings, with Avenue Development handling the design and construction process for the new property.

Full story at Skilled Nursing News

Osteoporosis drugs may lower mortality risk by 34%

New research has found a correlation between taking osteoporosis drugs and a lower risk of premature mortality. However, many people ignore their doctor’s advice when it comes to taking medication for bone health, the investigators note.

Osteoporosis is an age related condition that renders bone frailer and more prone to fractures. While this condition is more common in women, it also affects many men too.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), osteoporosis of the femur neck or lumbar spine — the most widespread forms of osteoporosis — affect 24.5% of women and 5.1% of men who are 65 years of age or over in the United States.

Full story at Medical News Today

Evaluating blood flow is key to early diagnosis and treatment for people with critical limb ischemia

Non-invasive techniques and devices for assessing blood flow and other diagnostic considerations for people with critical limb ischemia are addressed in a new scientific statement from the American Heart Association, published in the Association’s flagship journal Circulation.

The statement provides perspective on the strengths and limitations of current imaging techniques, including the ankle-brachial index, toe brachial index, toe systolic pressure, transcutaneous oximetry (TcPO2) and skin perfusion pressure (SPP). It also examines tools such as the laser Doppler, speckle imaging devices and others, as well as identifying opportunities for technology improvement and reducing disparities in detection and treatment.

The authors noted sex and ethnic differences in how critical limb ischemia is diagnosed, coexisting conditions and disparities in treatment. Women are more likely to experience emergency hospitalization, have differences in blood flow, and higher disability and death rates.

Full story at Science Daily

Veteran Benefits for Assisted Living

IF YOU SERVED THE United States of America as a member of the armed services, you may be entitled to certain benefits that could make some aspects of getting older a little easier. Namely, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers some funding programs that can help offset the cost of certain kinds of care later in life. For some people, this sort of benefit can be a real help when weighing how to pay for assisted living or other long-term care options.

“Veterans and their spouses have multiple financial benefits that can help cover the cost of assisted living,” says Rick Wigginton, senior vice president of sales at Brookdale Senior Living, a Tennessee-based company that has more an 1,000 senior living and retirement communities across the United States.

Wigginton says that Brookdale, like many other senior living companies, seeks to “help many veterans maximize these benefits, which in some cases can really reduce the cost of senior living.” Senior living options can get expensive. Every little bit that can help offset these sometimes-large costs is often a welcome relief for families.

Full story at US News

Medical mistrust impacts African American men’s preventive health, but racism also matters

Mistrust of health care providers, fueled by painful experiences with racism, makes African American men more likely to delay routine screenings and doctor’s appointments, according to a new study in the journal Behavioral Medicine by the Health Disparities Institute (HDI) at UConn Health, with potentially serious implications for their overall health.

“Medical mistrust is significantly contributing to delays in African American men utilizing the health care system,” says Dr. Wizdom Powell, the study’s lead author, who is HDI director and associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry at UConn School of Medicine.

The new study reports that “medical mistrust” — defined as a suspicion or lack of trust in medical organizations — is associated with delays in African American men’s routine health visits, blood pressure, and cholesterol screenings. It also found that men who report experiencing frequent everyday racism had higher odds of delaying screenings and routine health care visits. Also, those who perceived racism in health care had more medical mistrust with significantly reduced rates of preventive health care utilization.

Full story at Science Daily

ACL Announces Initial Meetings of Caregiver Advisory Councils

The Administration for Community Living is pleased to announce the first meetings of the advisory councils established by the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act and the Supporting Grandparents Raising Grandchildren (SGRG) Act.

Both meetings will be held on August 28 – 29 at the Holiday Inn—Washington Capitol, located at 550 C Street SW, Washington, DC 20024.  The meetings will be open to the public (registration required) and will be live streamed.

A complete list of council members, as well as schedules and registration instructions for participating in the meetings, can be found at ACL.gov/RAISE and ACL.gov/SGRG.

“The number of family caregivers, including grandparents who are raising grandchildren, is significant and growing. They are the backbone of our country’s caregiving system, and supporting them is critical,” said ACL Administrator Lance Robertson. “ACL is proud to lead the implementation of the RAISE Family Caregivers Act and the Supporting Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Act. We are excited to announce the membership of the two advisory councils, and we are looking forward to the inaugural meetings.”

Full story at ACL

Clinical trial reveals potential for treating larger strokes with thrombectomy

Building on research results published today in JAMA Neurology showing patients with larger ischemic strokes could benefit from endovascular thrombectomy, an international, multicenter Phase III clinical trial will be starting at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).

The trial, called SELECT2 (Optimizing Patient Selection for Endovascular Treatment in Acute Ischemic Stroke), is a randomized, controlled, open-label, assessor-blinded trial assessing efficacy and safety of thrombectomy procedure in patients with larger ischemic stroke.

While multiple previous clinical trials showed that endovascular thrombectomy was safe and beneficial for patients with smaller areas of damage from an ischemic stroke, potential safety and benefits for larger strokes are still unknown.

Full story at Science Daily

Normal Brain vs. Brain With Dementia

YOU DON’T NEED TO BE A brain specialist to notice certain differences in images of a healthy older person’s brain compared to that of someone with dementia. Narrowed, depleted folds on the brain’s surface, the presence of blotchy plaques, twisted fibers and significant shrinkage are clearly visible. What you can’t see is how brain changes like these affect how people’s minds work.

In a program from the National Press Foundation and funded by AARP, “Understanding the Latest on Dementia Issues,” journalists heard from a spectrum of dementia experts, including researchers, gerontologists, family caregivers and a brilliant engineer who described her personal journey with early-onset Alzheimer’s. In addition, a leading neuroscientist detailed how normal brain aging is very different than changes arising from dementia and not something to be feared.

Full story at US News