resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
The Visual Error Scoring System: A Concussion Tool
Postural stability and oculomotor function are the most easily recognized physical indicators of neurologic motor dysfunction associated with concussions.
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
Clearing Blocks: A Way to Improve Cosmetic Acupuncture
As a Five Element acupuncturist who teaches facial acupuncture classes nationally, I was surprised to learn that one of the basic principles I was taught in school is unfamiliar to most acupuncturists.
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
An Unexpected Diagnosis: The Result of Lacking Communication
A couple years ago I had a case that showed me the importance of open communication between health practitioners. We need to show up with less fear, and let go of our judgments so we can do better for the patient.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
Give Yourself the Digital Advantage
When you see this article in the print version of this issue and swear you read it already, don't be alarmed: you probably did. That's because by that time, the May issue will have been available online in digital format for three weeks.
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
Is the New Medicare Reporting Exemption Right for You?
What you've heard is not a rumor – there will be exemptions for providers of Medicare patients, with no penalties assessed for offices that do not do Quality Payment Program (EHR, PQRS, MACRA and MIPS) reporting.
Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
Is It Time to Rethink Mental Illness? (Pt. 1)
Invariably, patients will ask their chiropractor about depression or various mental illnesses. Some practitioners will reflexively offer a cervical adjustment, suggest St. John's wort or contemplate a referral to a specialist.
Bill With Confidence: Learn What to Collect
Q: I am trying to understand what I may collect from my patient when there is insurance. Do I have to accept the amount allowed by the plan or may I collect up to my billed amount? Please note, I am not a member of any insurance plan.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
August, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 08
The Rewards of Working with Dementia Patients
By Ann Catlin, LMT, NCTMB, OTR
I'm a brain/behavior geek from way back. In college as an occupational therapy student in the 1970's, I added a semester just to take more psychology classes. An internship was spent living and working at a large state mental hospital in Wisconsin.I loved it! My first jobs were in acute psychiatric units. I loved that, too. I spent ten years working in a rehabilitation center for people with traumatic brain injuries. I really loved that! Then I started working in nursing homes and began to learn about Alzheimer's disease and related dementias.
Fast forward to the present time and my favorite work is sessions with people with advanced dementia and teaching massage therapists and other professional caregivers how they do it, too. As our population ages, we will see greater numbers of people with cognitive impairment. Did you know that of people over the age of 85, about half have some degree of dementia? This is an issue that will affect almost all of us personally or professionally.
Geek that I am, I like finding a new piece to the puzzle of dementia and the inner world of people living with it. One piece I'd like to share with you is that not all dementia is the same. What follows is a description of the most common forms of dementia and the conditions that create it. Dementia is a general term meaning loss of memory and other intellectual abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life. It's important to understand that no two people are alike when it comes to dementia, even if the diagnosis is the same.
Alzheimer's disease (AD)
This is the most common type of dementia and accounts for about 60 percent of cases. AD is a progressive, degenerative disease that results in impaired memory, thinking and behavior reducing the ability to perform routine activities; common symptoms of dementia include memory loss, confusion, difficulty in communicating, disorientation in time and place, mood swings, restlessness, sleeplessness, behavioral disturbances, personality changes and perceptual motor problems. Abnormal structures called plaques and tangles are prime suspects in damaging and killing nerve cells, leading to brain atrophy. Plaques and tangles are deposits of protein fragments that bind together over time. Experts believe they play a critical role in blocking communication among nerve cells and disrupting processes that cells need to survive.
It's the destruction of nerve cells that causes symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. If AD is diagnosed prior to age 65, it is considered early onset. The course of the disease is similar as described above. Researchers have identified a possible genetic or familial link in people who develop the disease in their 40's or 50's. Early onset AD is relatively uncommon.
Vascular dementia is the second most common. It's caused by decreased blood flow to parts of the brain, depriving cells of nutrients needed to live. Onset can be sudden following a cerebral vascular accident (stroke). In others, onset is more stepwise. This happens when the person has a series of small strokes, known as transient ischemic attacks. Unique symptoms may include emotional outbursts and weakness in one or more extremities.
Lewy body dementia (LBD) is progressive and caused by abnormal protein structures in the brain called Lewy bodies. Symptoms are similar to AD, except that visual hallucinations and paranoia is a unique feature. People with LBD have symptoms very much like Parkinson's Disease including muscle rigidity and tremors and stooped posture. LBD is the third most common form of dementia.
Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is caused by cell degeneration and tissue shrinking in the brain's frontal or temporal lobes, which control functions of personality, behavior and language. Symptoms vary, depending upon the portion of the brain affected. Some people with FTD have dramatic personality changes and social behavior is inappropriate and impulsive while others lose language abilities. Most people diagnosed with FTD are in their 50's or 60's.
Dementia is a growing concern in healthcare, our communities and families. Sound information gives us a foundation from which to act and increases our comfort level to serve this special population. My next article will explore how focused touch and sensitive massage can improve the quality of life for both the person living with the disease and their care partners. Until then, take good care.
Want to learn more?
These links take you to brief videos.
Click here for previous articles by Ann Catlin, LMT, NCTMB, OTR.
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