Sam Bauman: To good to be true? And care of caregivers
February 12, 2013
I guess I’m on some mailing list that sends me all kinds of promotions for senior health problems. Latest one is from Bottom Line Books, and it’s a splashy kind of colorful tabloid hyping all kinds of “miracle” cures.A couple of items on page one give pause. “Type 2 diabetes cured forever in 90 minutes,” and “Alzheimer’s plaques dissolved by nose spray”. If true these are front page news … but checking them out is largely impossible. Dozens of such claims included. Reading through the 20 pages is a trip through medically incredible developments long needed. If they are true. Not being a doctor or health scientist, I had to look at all these ads with a questioning eye. I checked the Internet for information about one of the quoted doctors involved, woman named Sokovikova. Turns out she’s involved in optical science. Ditto some of the other medics. One on the “A” team for Bottom Line is Dr. Guy M. McKhann, professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins. He is cited as the team’s Alzheimer’s and dementia expert. According to his biography, he is chiefly associated with using bypass surgery for dementia.Nothing wrong with that kind of background but nothing about curing Alzheimer’s with a nose spray. Or about brain damage reversed in weeks.When I get such a publication with such “miracle” claims I tend to look for the reason for it all. Found it. You get a bunch of “free” publications, a copy of Bottom Line’s “Health Breakthroughs/2013 “free for 30 days.” Then I guess you pay. You’ll also get the opportunity to buy an email ($37) or hard copy ($53) of a book.I figure that if I’m getting this publication without asking for it, and I don’t want to subscribe, perhaps some other local seniors will be getting it as well. If so I would recommend discussing any claims with your doctor. You know your doctor is not selling magazine subscriptions. Q&A on DementiaI sat in on a session with Debra Fredericks, PhD, at the Senior Center recently and found her session far-ranging and informative. About 20 of us gathered to pepper her with questions about Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other forms of dementia. I asked her about the publication described above and after looking it over she had one comment, which can’t be printed here. She was not impressed.But she did say she was impressed with recent information about how coconut oil has helped some Alzheimer’s patients and she said she hoped further tests would prove its merit.The session was sponsored by the Northern Nevada Alzheimer’s Association, one of many such meetings its holds. Fredericks exchanged advice to questions ranging from anticipating the financial woes of dementia to “self-preservation for caregivers.” All too often the concentration is on the patient, not the person who must be on hand 24 hours a day as the dementia grows.Some of the “caregiver’s rights” were listed under the heading: “I have the right …• To take care of myself … this is not selfishness. It will give me the capability to take better care of my friend or relative.• To seek help from others even thought my relative my object. I recognize the limits of my own endurance and strength.• To maintain facets of my own life that do not include the person I care for, just as I would if he or she were healthy. I know that I do everything I reasonably can do for this person, and I have the right to do things for myself.• To get angry, be depressed, and express other difficult feelings occasionally.There are several other parts of this “bill of rights” (written by Jo Horne) available from the Alzheimer’s Association on the Internet at alz.org.Day for Alzheimer’s at the LegislatureThere will be an Alzheimer’s Advocacy Day from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28, at the Legislative Building, 401 S. Carson St. The Alzheimer’s Association Day is a chance to personally ask lawmakers to help them understand the Nevada State Plan for Alzheimer’s Disease “and help them to understand the needs of caregivers within the state.” There will be training on the state plan and how to make the most out of meetings with legislators. A free continental breakfast and lunch will be provided. Registration is required at email@example.com.MAGIC IN RENOIf you’re old enough to remember Harry Blackstone, “master magician,” you might enjoy the show at the Eldorado Hotel showroom in Reno. There a couple of magicians, Kovin and Caruso, take one back to the days before magic was done with computers. This is a magical show that is swift and funny and as well as the usual illusions with nine chorus girls in sparkling gear. If you look closely you might be able to spot the way the two do their tricks. Just look for black areas in the illusions they wheel out. Good old time magic fun. • Sam Bauman writes about senior affairs, among other things, for the Nevada Appeal.