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Alzheimer’s is not just memory loss, Alzheimer’s kills

Local Alzheimer’s disease expert returns from the 30th International Alzheimer’s Conference in Perth, Australia with startling statisticsMary Demakes, Registered Nurse and President of Private Home Health Care, Inc. attended the annual conference with more than 1,500 delegates from over 60 countries.

Alzheimer’s is not just memory loss, Alzheimer’s kills.  It is the 6th leading cause of death in the US for those 65 and older.  It is the only cause of death in the top 10 in American that cannot be prevented, cured or slowed.  Today, “5.3 million American’s are living with Alzheimer’s disease including an estimated 200,000 under the age of 65.  Growth estimates suggest that by 2050, up to 16 million will have the disease,” said Mary Demakes.  “Nearly two-thirds of those with Alzheimer’s disease 3.2 million are women.   Specifically, every 67 seconds in the US, someone gets diagnosed with the disease and 1 in 3 seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another dementia.   Yet, only 45% of the people with Alzheimer’s or their caregivers report being told they have the disease” added Demakes.   The growing Alzheimer’s crisis is helping to bankrupt Medicare with direct costs of caring for those with the disease, at an estimated $226 billion, of which Medicare bares half.

Current research offer some promise to those afflicted with the disease by providing tools to diagnose Alzheimer’s in its earliest stages.  Structural imaging studies show that the brains of those with the disease shrink significantly.  Functional imaging research suggests those with the disease have reduced brain cell activity in certain regions. Neuroimaging is among the most promising areas of research focused on early detection. Molecular strategies aim to detect biological clues prior to the disease taking a toll on the “brain structure, function memory, thinking and reasoning”  Current imaging technologies provide researchers with the tools for early detection, better monitoring, and a better understanding of the disease — which will in time lead to a cure.

To help combat the disease, join Private Home Health Care in sharing your story on “Why Your Brain Matters” with Maria Shiver’s “Wipe Out Alzheimer’s Challenge” at

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Fall Prevention Tips with Tai Chi – Peabody COA

Mary Demakes, Registered Nurse of Private Home Health Care, and Kuan Chung Chen of Tai Chi Acupuncture & Wellness conducted a “Fall Prevention Tips with Tai Chi” interactive presentation at the Peabody Senior Center to an audience of over 45 attendees on October 29, 2014. The attendees learned fall prevention tips in the home and hospital, how to get up from a fall, and Tai Chi movements; namely, standing and walking to help them improve balance and strength. The attentive audience asked questions of Registered Nurse Demakes, and eagerly took part the Tai Chi demonstrations by Kaun Chung Chen. The event was so interesting and effective that the audience asked when the duo could return for more. “Fall prevention is an important topic because although seniors fall more often, individuals of all ages fall,” said Demakes. “The statistics are an eye opener, with over 30% of seniors 65+ falling at least once per year, and of this group 50% will obtain hip fractures or other injuries that result in 56% of these fallers facing complications leading to death,” added Demakes. “Tai Chi helps with fall prevention because it focuses on weight shifting, postural alignment, coordination movements, and deep breathing, among other things,” said Kaun Chen. The over 25 years of experience that both individuals bring to this interactively insightful presentation shows in the audience’s responsiveness and high attendance levels. “We have received excellent feedback on the interest in these topics from attendees and have plans to continue offering it at the Council of Aging Centers, JCCs, YMCAs and Senor Centers throughout the North Shore, Metro West and Greater Boston areas.” said Bonnie Akerson, Director of Marketing and Business Development.  “We  are booking this event 2015 and interested individuals can contact us for more information,” added Akerson.

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Spa Day Sunrise at Gardener Park

Private Home Health Care, sponsored a Spa Day, facilitated by Bonnie Akerson, Director of Marketing and Business Development, for the residents of Sunrise at Gardener Park Assisted Living and (EPNG) Eldercare Professionals Networking Group on November 12, 2014.   The attendees enjoyed a blend of spa treatments and Reiki sessions and discount offerings compliments of Body & Soul Massage & Wellness Center, Rouge Cosmetics, Mary Kay Cosmetics and Elizabeth Grady.  Attendees’ relished nutritionally focused foods prepared by Sunrise’s Chief and enjoyed Reiki demonstrations and sessions, along with expert skincare advise, demonstration and product sampling.

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Health and Nutrition Luncheon Inn at Hastings Park Lexington

A health and nutrition luncheon at the Inn at Hastings Park on Oct. 20 was sponsored by Private Home Health Care. The event attracted professionals from local businesses who savored organic foods harvested from local farmers, along with regional seafood.  Registered Nurse Demakes addressed how food choices impact the health of both children and adults, and Dr. Nancy Emerson Lombardo shared insights on brain-healthy spices, herbs and foods researched for her soon-to-be-published cookbook.  The event attracted professionals from local businesses like Bank of America, Cambridge Savings Bank, Wingate Wealth Advisors and Lexington Symphony, among others.

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Spa night for Breast Cancer Awareness

Spa-night fundraiser for breast-cancer awareness was sponsored by Private Home Health Care at Grosvenor Park in Salem on Oct. 9. The event attracted individuals from the surrounding communities who enjoyed a holistic blend of spa treatments, nutritional supplements and fall-fashion shopping. Attendees sipped on wine and ate food donated by numerous local businesses, including Grosvenor Park, Shubie’s, Crosby’s, Cygnet, Stowaway Sweets, Kappy’s, Stop & Shop, Shaw’s, Rizzo’s and Fantasy Island, among others. An eclectic group of businesses donated numerous free spa and related services and prizes to attendees to help raise money for breast cancer. Local businesses who offered their services and products in support of the cause included Living Well, Marblehead Natural Healing, Andrew Michaels Spa and Salon, Leap Fitness, Cosmetic Dermatology Aesthetic Laser Center, Well Life, Arbonne Skin Care, Surreal Boutique, Magnolia’s Boutique, Jan Co World Treasures, Silpada Design Jewelry, Elements, Plexus Slim, Crossroads/Grace.

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PBS “The Genius of Marian” documentary

In bringing awareness to a profoundly challenging disease, PBS aired “The Genius of Marian.”  This exceptional documentary follows the life of Pam White, a once famous actress and daughter of a famous artist, who was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s.  This emotionally charged film follows the struggles of the White family as they attempt to balance their lives and learn ways to cope with this debilitating disease.  The film is a must see for those impacted by the disease.   An estimated 5.2 million American’s have Alzheimer’s, including approximately 200,000 individuals under the age of 65 — who have early onset Alzheimer’s.  Woman are at the epicenter of the Alzheimer’s crisis with the risk of developing the disease at age 65 reaching 1 in 6 females.   Join us in helping to find a cure, this September 21, 2014, at The Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Andover, MA.  To learn more about the walk, visit our calendar page.

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What’s Happening (Video) Walk to End Alzheimer’s Baseball Game Night

The North Shore Alzheimer’s Partnership & Private Home Health Care sponsored a night at Fraser Field to champion the cause of Alzheimer’s research. There was a ceremony before the game, and Private Home Health Care had a booth set up with information about Alzheimer’s & the upcoming Walk To End Alzheimer’s on Sept. 21 in Andover. Proceeds from ticket sales of the game went to Alzheimer’s research.

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Alzheimer’s Blog

With the Walk to End Alzheimer’s around the corner, it seems fitting to talk about Alzheimer’s. What it is, how to prevent it, ways to cope with a loved one with the disease, as well as, what to do to keep your mind sharp as you age. Alzheimer’s Disease is defined as a mental deterioration that mainly occurs late in life, but there are early onset cases in individuals in their 40s and 50s. It is all due to the decay of the brain. Its symptoms usually include memory loss, mood or behavior changes, and difficulty remembering time, dates, and events. More severe Alzheimer’s includes possible trouble walking or eating as well as talking. If you notice any of these symptoms in your loved one, talk to a doctor about ways that you can slow it down before it progresses.

Although, Alzheimer’s is not curable, there are treatments that can slow down the rapid worsening of the disease. Doctors may prescribe certain medications to slow down the deterioration of the brain, as well as natural remedies that have been tested to slow down the spreading of Alzheimer’s. Talk to a doctor before using medicines and remedies to treat Alzheimer’s.

Supporting your Alzheimer’s patient is a hard job. Encouragement and organization are key to keeping your loved one safe and independent. Start by establishing a daily routine. Having a schedule they can stick to can help them remember what comes next each day. Keep them involved. By engaging them in activities they look forward to, the feelings of frustration, isolation and embarrassment could slowly disappear. Talking to them about how they are feeling could also help them cope and ease negative and scary feelings. Keeping a schedule for their medicine and doctor’s appointments is also something to manage. All of this could be stressful to you as well, so take a moment for yourself, and join a support group to learn about available resources, and acquire various copying skills to help you better manage.

If you feel that the Walk for Alzheimer’s is something you would like to get involved with, contact us or see our calendar for more information. Please join us on September 21st as we walk to raise money for a great cause!

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Long -Term Care: The Home Care Option

Long-term care is a complex and often confusing topic that, unfortunately, many people first encounter in a crisis situation. Often, the first and most difficult decision, when a loved one needs long-term care, is whether to arrange for care to be provided to the person in their home or to relocate the person, to receive care at a long-term care facility. This program will focus on the home care option, with presentations by experts from multiple perspectives on this subject.

Mary Demakes and Bonnie Akerson will explain the wide range and levels of specialized services available to accomplish long-term care at home. Private Home Health Care has a 20-year history and has been located in Marblehead since 2001. For more information on the company, please see: (

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