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ligito
02-02-2010, 03:19 PM
My friend retired when he was 70, he is now 81.
I think he had already entered the first stages of Alzheimer's.
I'm 69 and hope I have not started.

I went to visit him today at the Alzheimer's care center and he was very intently feeling the texture of the hand rail and using a Tootsie-Pop stick like a surface micrometer, to check every surface.

His mind may be lost but he is still working.:(

Doozer
02-02-2010, 03:30 PM
It sounds like the wires are hooked up but the insulation is failing.
Tough situation. I hope they find a cure for that before I get close to
worrying about it with myself. The best thing you can do is just be a
friend and spend time with him when you can.

--Doozer

oldtiffie
02-02-2010, 03:36 PM
First, define "elderly" and then look up "Geriatrics".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elderly

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geriatrics

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Senescence

Evan
02-02-2010, 04:16 PM
Alzheimer's is not the only type of dementia that afflicts the elderly. First, old age does not cause dementia directly. The risk factors are several and include overweight (3 times increase), disuse of your brain (watch TV), poor diet (see overweight), lack of exercise and surprisingly, poor attitude toward other people.

There are about eight common causes of dementia of which Alzheimer's is only one. Alzheimer's is particularly characterized by not being perceptible to the sufferer. Other types of dementia may be obvious to those who have them depending on situation. Dementia can be caused by long term exposure to toxins such as mercury or pesticides, Creutzfeltd Jacob disease (mad cow), hypoxia (congestive heart failure, lack of oxygen) , stroke, Parkinson's disease and related conditions and other less common afflictions.

Transfer of information from short term to long term memory is usually the first and most affected in Alzheimer's. This affects the ability to learn abstract information. It is always invisible to the victim of this disease.

The so called "aluminum connection" doesn't exist. While there may be a slight increase in the amount of precipitated aluminum found in the brain of Alzheimer's victims it appears to be an effect of the condition, not a cause. Were it a cause we would all have the disease as aluminum is the third most common element on Earth.

Also, nicotine, caffeine and hot spicy foods seem to have a protective effect.

MTNGUN
02-02-2010, 04:31 PM
and surprisingly, poor attitude toward other people.
Darned ! ! ! I was in the low-risk category until you brought that up ! ! !

alanganes
02-02-2010, 05:40 PM
I'll echo what Doozer said: "The best thing you can do is just be a friend and spend time with him when you can."
Lost my mother to Alzheimer's, it's a tough thing to watch. She lived with us for four years, steadily fading away. It is amazing though, how there can be very brief periods when the person is noticeably more lucid. It never lasted long, but was quite startling when it happened. I came to consider those moments real gifts.

ligito
02-02-2010, 06:13 PM
Also, nicotine, caffeine and hot spicy foods seem to have a protective effect.

I don't drink alcohol, smoke, or drink coffee, or tea and I like only mildly spiced foods, no pepper, or garlic.

Am I doomed?

boslab
02-02-2010, 07:34 PM
Ive been somewhat unfortunate as i have suffered a succession of heart attacks this last few years, i must say that the so called 'genetic' predisposition that runs in families seems to be as simple as having small diameter arteries, what i want to add to the discussion is the fact that after these events memory suffers, it makes me think that there may be a connection between a] strokes b] heart attacks and c] Alzheimer's.
perhaps the medication is a factor but i remember my mother suffering a mild stroke, she recovered but her memory was not up to what it was.
Not being medically trained i don't have any real experience to either confirm or refute my findings, personally i have noticed how much i have forgotten since starting back to work last month.
If the onset of this insidious disease is similar i sympathise with these poor people, it frightens me to think they may be trapped in there...
a line from a song by the Who, Every sentence in my head, someone else has said, And the End of my life is an open Door,
puts Euthanasia in a new light don't you think
mark

ligito
02-02-2010, 08:49 PM
I forgot so much between stints at my job, that I had to retrain every time I went back to work on-call.

I finally got fed up with the co-workers's antics and called it quits.

Life is too short.

oldtiffie
02-02-2010, 09:05 PM
Check this out:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_expectancy

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_table

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/be/Excerpt_from_CDC_2003_Table_1.png

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Healthy_Life_Years

Its not so matter of how long you live or have to live so much as the quality of life and well-being and health in those older years.

I am 73 and my "actuarial age" is about 83. I am neither counting on lasting 10 years nor am I counting on them all being "well years".

There is a very high probability that before I depart this mortal coil (ie "fall of the twig") that my mental and physical capabilities will decay progressively - at an accelerating rate - and I will be progressively less able to do those things that I do in the shop etc. and to "look after" myself.

There is a quite high increasing risk or probability that I will get "taken out" by cancer, stroke, or physical or mental decay or failure and that probability increases as I get older.

I am well into the "zone" for all of this.

Whether or not it will happen is not debatable as it is a certainty.

The unknowns are what will happen and when and to what extent it occurs and what impairment it causes.

Whether the twig snaps or I just fall off it - the end result is that it is the end game.


Sans me


Finis
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finis

bborr01
02-02-2010, 09:07 PM
Lost my maternal grandmother to dementia/alzheimers at 93. She was sharp as a tack until she lost her eyesight to macular degeneration.
It seemed like she lost her will to live when she lost her sight.
I recently had my eyes checked and was told i still have 20/20 eyesight.
I'm 53. So far so good.

What Evan said about using your brain. I believe that people who spend their days watching mindless TV won't be out much if they get alzheimers.
It almost looks to me like they are practicing for it.

My signature line says "THINK HARDER".

I believe in exercising my brain. I don't think it is much different than exercising muscles.

I remember going back to work after a long medical leave for a badly broken femur. It had been over a year and I couldn't remember the combination for the lock on one of my tool boxes that contained the keys for the rest of them.

I borrowed an air grinder and a cutoff wheel and was ready to cut the lock off.

I closed my eyes and thought as hard as I could. The numbers just popped into my head.

Most times I find that if I am stumped on something, I just need to think harder.

Brian

HSS
02-02-2010, 09:41 PM
Well, thank you for that information, Evan. I drink a sh[t load of coffee, eat really spicey food, like in habenaro salsa, and I like everybody. I've never been a patient in the hospital and don't get sick much. So, when I die, it won't be from anything serious.:D :D

Patrick

MTNGUN
02-02-2010, 09:43 PM
believe that people who spend their days watching mindless TV won't be out much if they get alzheimers.
It almost looks to me like they are practicing for it.
LOL

No TV here. If I had a TV, I would watch it. But if I don't have a TV, I don't miss it at all. Instead, I do stuff in the shop, read books, or worst case -- peruse technical and news sites on the web. I love to learn.

I don't mean to brag, but I have continued to learn thoughout my life. I'm always doing projects and acquiring new hobbies that I don't really have time for. I'm always reading non-fiction. I try to keep up with world news. I frequent several technical and science news sites so I have at least a conversational knowledge of the latest technical developments.

Most of my fellow HSM members seem to do the same.

Compare that to my best childhood friend. He was the school genius. Straight A's, honor roll, 99 percentile on standardized tests. He breezed through the tough math and science classes that gave me fits. I figured he would grow up to be some kind of rocket scientist or college professor.

Instead, his brained stopped learning when he finished school. Today, he can't carry on an intelligent conversation about global warming or current events. He buys a new used car every year because he doesn't know how to fix his car when it breaks down. He doesn't know how to download and install computer software. He spends his spare time watching M*A*S*H reruns and playing strategy games. He doesn't read anything (except the Bible).

As bborr01 put it, it's like some people are practicing for Alzheimer's.

Rustybolt
02-02-2010, 10:11 PM
Well, Evan. My mother was none of those hings and still had dementia, not the Altzheimers kind.

Eventually she tired of staying around so the left.

dp
02-02-2010, 10:17 PM
My hindsight is still 20/20 but everything else is going to hell.

Doc Nickel
02-02-2010, 10:26 PM
Dementia can be caused by long term exposure to toxins such as mercury or pesticides, Creutzfeltd Jacob disease (mad cow), hypoxia (congestive heart failure, lack of oxygen) , stroke, Parkinson's disease and related conditions and other less common afflictions.

-Just a quick note; While Creutzfeldt–Jakob is one of the "prion" diseases, and it's similar to, it's not bovine spingiform encelopathy. So it's like, but not, "mad cow" disease.

And the only reason I know that, is I looked it up while researching for this comic strip (http://www.the-whiteboard.com/autowb921.html). :D

I was originally going to go for "Ebola or Mad Cow?" but C-J sounded better. :D

Doc.

bborr01
02-03-2010, 12:19 AM
Dennis,
Check your PM's.
I pm'd you a couple days ago.
Brian

Evan
02-03-2010, 12:57 AM
Doc, people know what mad cow does to cattle. C-J does the same to people.
One way to get is to eat people, Jeffery Dahmer style.


Well, Evan. My mother was none of those hings and still had dementia, not the Altzheimers kind.



Those are factors that increase risk. Some people that are thin and fit still die from heart attacks.


I don't mean to brag, but I have continued to learn thoughout my life. I'm always doing projects and acquiring new hobbies that I don't really have time for. I'm always reading non-fiction. I try to keep up with world news. I frequent several technical and science news sites so I have at least a conversational knowledge of the latest technical developments.


Not a brag at all. I would expect that to be common among the members here. I do the same. It has been shown recently that learning new information and mental skills can actually cause new neural growth at any age. While you cannot grow new neurons you can grow new axons and dendrites on the neurons you have. People that continue to learn as they age have more interconnections to spare so even if they have whatever causes Alzheimer's it may never cause significant symptoms before they die from something else.

Doc Nickel
02-03-2010, 06:01 AM
One way to get is to eat people, Jeffery Dahmer style.

-I'll keep that in mind the next time I crash in the Andes. :D

Doc.

JMS6449
02-03-2010, 06:45 AM
I don't drink alcohol, smoke, or drink coffee, or tea and I like only mildly spiced foods, no pepper, or garlic.

Am I doomed?

No, just bored and boring!

Lost my Mother to Parkinson's, she did drink coffee in moderation and used a little garlic. Thank God, I am the opposite, but did quit smoking 25 years ago.