The Best Way to Handle Your Mental Decline Is to Confront It Head On

Much like contemplating death can neutralize the fear of it, it can help to acclimate yourself to the idea of losing professional skills before it happens.

To read an article in the Atlantic on this topic, click on the following link:  https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2020/06/how-get-comfortable-professional-decline/612637/

The science of psilocybin and its use to prevent sufffering

“Johns Hopkins is deeply committed to exploring innovative treatments for our patients. Our scientists have shown that psychedelics have real potential as medicine, and this new center will help us explore that potential.”
– Paul B. Rothman, M.D., Dean of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine. 

Scientists today are entering a new era of studying a truly unique class of pharmacological compounds known as psychedelics. Although research with these compounds was first started in the 1950s and ‘60s, it abruptly ended in the early 1970s in response to unfavorable media coverage, resulting in misperceptions of risk and highly restrictive regulations.

After a decades-long hiatus, in 2000 our research group at Johns Hopkins was the first to obtain regulatory approval in the United States to reinitiate research with psychedelics in healthy volunteers. Our 2006 publication on the safety and enduring positive effects of a single dose of psilocybin is widely considered the landmark study that sparked a renewal of psychedelic research world-wide.

Since that time, we have published further groundbreaking studies in more than 60 peer-reviewed articles in respected scientific journals. This makes Johns Hopkins the leading psychedelic research institution in the U.S., and among the few leading groups worldwide. Our research has demonstrated therapeutic effects in people who suffer a range of challenging conditions including addiction (smoking, alcohol, other drugs of abuse), existential distress caused by life-threatening disease, and treatment-resistant depression. Studying healthy volunteers has also advanced our understanding of the enduring positive effects of psilocybin and provided unique insight into neurophysiological mechanisms of action, with implications for understanding consciousness and optimizing therapeutic and non-therapeutic enduring positive effects.

At the Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research, researchers will focus on how psychedelics affect behavior, mood, cognition, brain function, and biological markers of health. Upcoming studies will determine the effectiveness of psilocybin as a new therapy for opioid addiction, Alzheimer’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome (formerly known as chronic Lyme disease), anorexia nervosa and alcohol use in people with major depression. The researchers hope to create precision medicine treatments tailored to the specific needs of individual patients.

To watch a TED talk on this topic, click on the following link:  https://hopkinspsychedelic.org/

Experiencing Alzheimer’s: Still Alice by Lisa Genova

Still Alice

Still Alice by Lisa Genova

 Goodreads rating (out of 5) 4.31  282,594 ratings 

Still Alice is a compelling debut novel about a 50-year-old woman’s sudden descent into early onset Alzheimer’s disease, written by first-time author Lisa Genova, who holds a Ph. D in neuroscience from Harvard University.

Alice Howland, happily married with three grown children and a house on the Cape, is a celebrated Harvard professor at the height of her career when she notices a forgetfulness creeping into her life. As confusion starts to cloud her thinking and her memory begins to fail her, she receives a devastating diagnosis: early onset Alzheimer’s disease. Fiercely independent, Alice struggles to maintain her lifestyle and live in the moment, even as her sense of self is being stripped away. In turns heartbreaking, inspiring and terrifying, Still Alice captures in remarkable detail what’s it’s like to literally lose your mind… (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2153405.Still_Alice)

I liked this novel because it is scientifically accurate and shows how much of a difference strength of character and a loving and well-informed family can make in easing the trauma of Alzheimer’s.

Caregiving Tips for Traveling with an Older Adult

You don’t have to cancel the annual family vacation just because your loved one is getting older. With some careful planning, you can still get away and have an enjoyable time. This article provides some tips on how to plan a trip with an elderly loved one.

https://www.agingcare.com/articles/caregiving-tips-for-traveling-with-seniors-147634.htm

 

Track location of missing elder with dementia

Elders with dementia who are prone to wandering an may become disoriented and then lost.  A Japanese company has invented a device that, when placed in the elder’s show, can enable a caregiver to determine their location and find them.  To learn more about the device, click on the following link: https://www.wtvideo.com/video/21583/newly-invented-shoes-with-gps-to-track-elderly-family-members-with-alzheimer-s-and-prevent-them-from-getting-lost?fbclid=IwAR3RNYytfwWVVJQC_3wpovzy4L8W9DQSJgbmt6QBrr0fGxQ7mz_0wkBmdV0

 

 

 

Alzheimer’s/Dementia: Ministry with the Forgotten

 

How can churches help people living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, and their caregivers? Answering that question is the topic of a new, free resource now available from The United Methodist Church.

The five-part study, titled “Alzheimer’s/Dementia: Ministry with the Forgotten” includes downloadable videos and a leader’s guide. Retired Bishop Ken Carder wrote the resource based on his experiences caring for his wife, Linda, who was diagnosed in 2009 with frontal temporal dementia.

“(The resource) was created to start conversations and to generate action around caring for people who have Alzheimer’s and the people who care for them,” said Carder, who currently serves as chaplain at Bethany Memory Care Center at the Heritage of Lowman, a retirement center near Columbia, S.C., where he and Linda live.

The aim, Carder said, is that the new offering can help older adult ministry leaders and pastors, family and caregivers of those living with dementia, as well as persons in early stages of dementia.

Topics covered in the study, designed to be used in a small group setting, include impact and challenges of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia; practical and specific ways local congregations can be involved in caring for those with dementia and their caregivers; and ways individuals can communicate, interact and worship with people who have Alzheimer’s and dementia.

To view the materials, click on the following link

Dementia Resources