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Active Retirees : Active Retirees Aug-Sept 2012
1 First stAge or eArly demeNtiA This stage is characterised by minor problems, often overlooked or considered normal parts of ageing. Symptoms include: • Memory lapses • Confusion • Irritability • Reduced vocabulary • Losing interest in hobbies and activities • Poor decision making skills • Becoming slower at everyday tasks • Being forgetful 2 seCoNd stAge or moderAte demeNtiA Signs are more obvious now and have a greater impact on life, including: • Forgetting familiar things such as friends, family members or places • Becoming lost • Odd behaviour • Poor hygiene • Poor eating habits • Mood swings • Frustration and anger at inability to do or remember things 3 tHird stAge or AdvANCed demeNtiA Now the brain has been severely damaged by the disease and full-time care is essential. Features of this stage include: • Long-term memory loss • Loss of speech • Immobility • Incontinence • Unable to care for self • Vulnerable to infections and other medical complications tHree stAges oF demeNtiA Active RetireesTM | 37 q i need a knee replacement but i am scared of the operation and do not want to go through the rehabilitation. Can i have the Arthrowand instead? A The Arthrowand is a new and exciting surgical tool that treats knee pain more effectively than ever before. Less invasive than previous surgical techniques, it gently removes damaged cartilage without actually touching the damaged joint surface. Traditionally, damaged cartilage would be cut out of the knee joint. The Arthrowand, however, needs only to be manoeuvred a few millimetres away from the joint surface, where it emits small bubbles of a highly excited gas known as ‘glow discharge plasma’. The plasma gently and meticulously dissolves damaged cartilage and smooths the remainder of the joint’s cartilage, leaving a surface that is completely even. The smoother the surface of a knee, the better its mechanical functioning is for the patient. The Arthrowand is excellent for treating meniscal tears and small areas of joint surface damage, as well as strengthening soft cartilage behind the kneecap; it does not replace knee replacements. While it has, in some cases, stimulated the growth of a new bearing surface over areas of bare bone, it has not stimulated enough growth to no longer warrant a knee replacement. If your knee is completely worn out and there is no cartilage left, a knee replacement is still needed. The Arthrowand cannot smooth off a surface that is no longer there. Associate Professor Nigel Hope, Orthopaedic Surgeon Associate Professor Hope is available to talk at Probus club meetings in Sydney. t: 0499 773 700 Do you have a question on any health- related topic for the Active Retirees Profs? e: firstname.lastname@example.org ASk ThE PRoF PreveNtioN ANd treAtmeNt Dementia cannot be cured. There are some treatments including drugs that may help reduce the severity of symptoms (although these can’t slow the deterioration of the brain), as well as medicine to ease the anxiety and depression that dementia may induce. Nutrition may also assist in treating dementia, especially when it comes to folate. “A folate deficiency has been associated with people with dementia,” explains accredited practicing dietitian and spokesperson for Dietitians Association of Australia Dr Catherine Itsiopoulos. “Our community – especially the elderly – have low levels of folate.” Leafy green vegies such as spinach and broccoli are good sources of folate. Alzheimer’s Australia research shows that a ‘Mediterranean’ diet – high in fruit, legumes, vegetables, fish and olive oil, and low in meat – is associated with lower rates of dementia. Exercise can slow dementia’s hold too. “Once diagnosed, people who remain active or start exercising have a slower decline,” advises exercise physiologist and specialist in exercise for chronic disease management, Dr Rebecca Sealey of James Cook University. “As little as one hour of exercise twice a week can slow the decline by up to a third.” Aerobic activity such as walking, dancing and swimming for 30 minutes at least five days a week is most effective. ••
Active Retirees June-July 2012
Active Retirees Oct-Nov 2012