Advocate Providing Dementia Help
For ten years, Gary LeBlanc of Spring Hill, Florida, was the caregiver for his father, who had Alzheimer's disease before passing away in 2009. The next year, his mother began experiencing vascular dementia, the second most common cause of dementia after Alzheimer's disease in people over 65.
In a telephone interview, 54-year-old LeBlanc said, "So it's been an 18-year journey for me. I've been involved with (dementia) non-stop. My mom is in hospice now and is dying of vascular dementia. It is what it is. It came out of her diabetes." According to the National Institutes of Health, vascular dementia "is caused by a series of small strokes" and risk factors for getting it include diabetes, hardening of the arteries, smoking, high blood pressure, and stroke.
He said, "These two diseases, Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia, are completely different. Some things my father handled well and others my mother does well." For example, he said "sundowning" was much more intense in his mother. He defined sundowning as "the intensification of agitation and confusion in the later hours of the day." About two-thirds of people with dementia experience sundowning, which he believed occurs due to mental and physical exhaustion from fighting the disease. In being a proactive caregiver, LeBlanc said he and his mother often sit outside late afternoons to talk, an hour before her sundowning usually begins.
To help others experiencing dementia, LeBlanc two years ago founded the online group "Dementia Mentors," which features people with dementia helping each other. Members can socialize through web cams sometimes hours a day, receive emotional support, and gather information from people with similar symptoms.
LeBlanc said, "I'm seeing people keeping their (dementia) symptoms at bay because of (interacting) with others in this group. Dementia Mentors is one of the best programs I have been involved with." In addition, he emphasized the role of exercise, keeping bad cholesterol low, and perhaps participating in adult daycare to slow disease progression. Besides Dementia Mentors, LeBlanc founded the Alzheimer's/Dementia Wristband Project, which has been helping hospitals around the nation become more dementia friendly and knowledgeable.
On an aside, LeBlanc said many physicians fail to properly diagnose "mixed dementia," which occurs when a person simultaneously has Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia, for instance. He also added to the list of vascular dementia risk factors untreated sleep apnea, which can limit oxygen getting to the brain.
Sponsored by Blue Valley Sod.
Daniel J. Vance is a licensed professional counselor and national certified counselor from Vernon Center, Minn. His weekly newspaper column Disabilities has been published in more than 260 newspapers.
Daniel J. Vance may be reached at www.danieljvance.com
Placer County News HeadlinesMoksa Brewing Up Seriously Delicious Craft Beers in RocklinRocklin, CA,- Derived from the word Moksha which equates with ultimate freedom and liberation in Indian philosophy and religion, we found ourselves perched in Rocklin, California at Moksa Brewing
BottleRock Presents Announces Concerts and Festival AftershowsNAPA, Calif. -- BottleRock Napa Valley, presented by JaM Cellars, has sold out all passes to the festival's sixth installment on May 25 - 27, 2018 in downtown Napa
Mesa Verde Country Top 5 Winter Experiences in Southwest ColoradoCortez, Colo. - Mesa Verde Country in Southwest Colorado is a great winter destination. The area boasts mountains, sunshine and everything travelers need for the perfect cold-weather getaway
BottleRock Presents Vines & VibesNapa, CA, - BottleRock Napa Valley presents Vines & Vibes, the fourth annual Do It For The Love Benefit Dinner and Concert on Thursday, May 24, 2018, on the rooftop of the Archer Hotel
2018 Lexus GX570 remains luxurious SUVRoseville, CA,- What most drivers will like about the 2018 Lexus LX570 is the combination of gracious around-town capability and its ability to go off-road in rugged winter conditions
Tree Harvest Cannabis Festival Cancelled, Fall Dates PossibleWoodland, CA- The cannabis themed Tree Harvest Festival scheduled for April 20- 22, 2018 has been cancelled due to a municipality withdrawing authorization
Roseville Gas Prices Ease SlightlyRoseville, CA- Gas prices in Roseville have eased slightly this past week despite the strong upward trend and anticipation of prices pushing toward the $4 gallon mark
Roseville City School District to Share $400,000 Grant(Roseville, CA) - Roseville City School District (RCSD) is poised to be the recipient of $400,000, all aimed to benefit its middle school students through
Kay U. Brooks presented with Don Poole AwardSacramento, CA,- Attorney Kay U. Brooks of Weintraub Tobin was recently awarded the Sacramento Region Community Foundation's prestigious Don Poole Award for her significant contributions
Arson Damage at Margaret Azevedo Park in RocklinRocklin, CA,- On February 17th 2018 at about 10:38 PM, Rocklin Police Officers responded to Margret Azevedo Park in the report of a play structure on fire
Roseville City School District Honors Teachers of the Year(Roseville, CA) - The Roseville City School District (RCSD) recently announced their Teachers of the Year. Heidi Polewaczyk and Michael Larsen have been selected
Roseville Gas Prices Throttling HigherRoseville, CA- A quick look around Roseville had motorists noticing gas prices trending upward. Prices in Roseville have pushed past the $3 mark