WBEZ | Alzheimer's http://www.wbez.org/tags/alzheimers Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Afternoon Shift: Caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s and dementia http://www.wbez.org/programs/afternoon-shift/2015-05-18/afternoon-shift-caring-loved-ones-alzheimer%E2%80%99s-and-dementia <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Ronn%20aka%20Blue%20Aldaman.jpg" style="height: 414px; width: 620px;" title="(Photo: Flickr/Ronn aka " /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/206108650&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><div class="image-insert-image " style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-size: 24px;">How to care for loved ones with Alzheimer&#39;s and dementia</span></div><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><p dir="ltr" style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-bb640378-6914-d4f1-1011-51e206ff8745">Alzheimer&rsquo;s is now the sixth leading cause of death among U.S. adults. We discuss the difference between Alzheimer&rsquo;s and dementia, what signs you need to look for, and what the latest in treatment and research can tell us. For this discussion we are joined by Janette Foley, of Chicagoland Methodist Senior Services and Bob Tucker, &nbsp;a senior advocate at the Alzheimer&rsquo;s Foundation of America in Northbrook.</span><br /><br /><strong>Guests:</strong></p><ul dir="ltr"><li><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-bb640378-6914-d4f1-1011-51e206ff8745">Janette Foley is the administrator for dementia services at </span><a href="http://www.cmsschicago.org/about-us/staff-board-members.aspx">Chicagoland Methodist Senior Services</a>.</em></li><li><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-bb640378-6914-d4f1-1011-51e206ff8745">Bob Tucker is a senior advocate at the </span><a href="http://www.alzfdn.org/">Alzheimer&rsquo;s Foundation of America</a> in Northbrook.</em></li></ul></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/206108330&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><div class="image-insert-image " style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-size: 24px;">Pint of Science brings together scientists, the public and booze</span></div><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><p dir="ltr" style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-bb640378-6916-3616-27f3-ab08d6b86d2e">Talking science with scientists might seem impossible or at least intimidating for the average person. But Pint of Science, a global event now in its third year, wants to provide that opportunity and make it more relaxed...which is why it&rsquo;s at a bar. So, if you feel like stopping off for a drink after work and you want a quick science lesson and the opportunity to talk to an actual scientist, this is the fest for you. Pint of Science runs May 18 - 20. &nbsp;</span><br /><br /><strong>Guests:</strong></p><ul dir="ltr"><li><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-bb640378-6916-3616-27f3-ab08d6b86d2e">Tim Fessenden is a PhD student at the University of Chicago and Marketing Director for </span><a href="https://twitter.com/pintofscienceUS?lang=en">Pint of Science</a> Chicago.</em></li><li><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-bb640378-6916-3616-27f3-ab08d6b86d2e">Katie Long is a MD-PhD student at the University of Chicago and City Coordinator for </span><a href="https://pintofscience.us/teams/chicago-team/">Pint of Science Chicago</a>.</em></li><li><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-bb640378-6916-3616-27f3-ab08d6b86d2e"><a href="https://twitter.com/danthecancerman">Daniel Leventhal</a></span> is a graduate student at the University of Chicago and Pint of Science Chicago City Coordinator.</em></li></ul></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/205368904&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><div class="image-insert-image " style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-size: 24px;">Inauguration day means new faces and tough issues at City Hall</span></div><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><p dir="ltr" style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-bb640378-6918-1c87-48bf-b546451c17fc">May 18 is inauguration day 2015 in Chicago. Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the city clerk, treasurer and the new City Council were sworn in on Monday at the Chicago Theater. WBEZ&rsquo;s Lauren Chooljian introduces us to the new aldermen and the issues they&rsquo;ll face this term. </span><br /><br /><strong>Guest:</strong><em> <a href="http://www.twitter.com/laurenchooljian">Lauren Chooljian</a> is WBEZ&rsquo;s city politics reporter.</em></p></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/206107496&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><div class="image-insert-image " style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-size: 24px;">Meet the new City Council</span></div><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><p dir="ltr" style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-bb640378-691c-75a3-9fac-c3841646a57a">Chicago&rsquo;s City Council was sworn in on Monday, May 18. Thirteen newcomers were added to this term&rsquo;s class of aldermen and they&rsquo;ll be facing some of the toughest issues ever to come before the City Council. Aldertrack&rsquo;s Mike Fourcher joins us to talk about the inauguration and what we can expect from our new City Council. </span><br /><br /><strong>Guest:</strong> <em><a href="http://www.twitter.com/vouchey">Mike Fourcher</a> is a founder of Aldertrack.</em></p></div><p><br /><br /><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/206109975&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false"></iframe></p><div class="image-insert-image " style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-size: 24px;">Tech Shift: How to upset the downward trend of women in tech</span></div><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><p dir="ltr" style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-bb640378-691d-fdef-cf4c-1cc075138878">Suzanne Muchin leads Mind + Matter Studio in Chicago. She and Amanda Lannert, CEO of Jellyvision, were tired of the trend pieces and think pieces about the problem of women being underrepresented in tech businesses that didn&rsquo;t focus enough on tangible solutions. So they published a list of the five things they&rsquo;re dedicated to actually doing to help boost women in the workplace. Suzanne joins us in studio to explain the piece in detail.</span><br /><br /><strong>Guest:</strong> <em><a href="about:blank">Suzanne Muchin</a> is a founder of <a href="http://mindandmatterstudio.com/about-us/about-rachel-suzanne/">Mind + Matter Studio</a>.</em></p></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/206107499&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><div class="image-insert-image " style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-size: 24px;">Avian flu continues to impact Midwest poultry&nbsp;</span></div><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><p dir="ltr" style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Avian flu is on the rise across the Midwest. It&rsquo;s affecting poultry flocks in more than a dozen states including Minnesota, Indiana, and Iowa, where 40% of all egg hens have the disease. WBEZ food reporter Monica Eng has details about what this means for farmers and consumers.</p><strong><span id="docs-internal-guid-bb640378-691e-b92b-3104-4ba8187facb8">Guest: </span></strong><em><a href="https://twitter.com/monicaeng">Monica Eng</a> is a WBEZ reporter.</em></div><p>&nbsp;</p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/206107506&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false"></iframe></p> Mon, 18 May 2015 16:55:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/afternoon-shift/2015-05-18/afternoon-shift-caring-loved-ones-alzheimer%E2%80%99s-and-dementia Improv for Alzheimer's: 'A sense of accomplishment' http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-08-14/improv-alzheimers-sense-accomplishment-90592 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/npr_story/photo/2011-August/2011-08-15/Alzheimer&#039;s_Flickr_Ann Gordon.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Many newly diagnosed Alzheimer's patients go through the stressful phase of realizing they are losing their memory while still having enough insight to know that, over time, they will no longer be able to care for themselves.</p><p>So a team of researchers from Chicago — a city known for improvisational theater — is testing a new idea of whether unscripted theater games can affect the well-being of these patients.</p><p>"Improv is all about being in the moment, which for someone with memory loss, that is a very safe place," says Mary O'Hara, a social worker at the Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer's Disease Center at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. "Maybe thinking about the past and trying to remember makes the person a little anxious or even a bit sad because their memory is failing. And maybe thinking about the future too much is also anxiety-provoking. So being in the moment is such a safe and a good place to be."</p><p>The Northwestern researchers are working with the Tony Award-winning Lookingglass Theatre Company. There are already theater programs that use improv for Alzheimer's patients in the later stages of the disease, but this collaboration is unique because it's for early-stage patients.</p><p>"There's no experience required, there's no script, there's no memorization," O'Hara says. "They bring to it just their creative potential. And they are so successful at this."</p><p>Christine Mary Dunford, with Lookingglass, leads the group of novice performers in very simple improv games.</p><p>One "of the basic tenets of improv that [is] perfect for working with people with dementia [is] the concept of yes," Dunford says. "So, fundamental to all our work is that whatever answer someone comes up with, the rest of us are going to be able to work with it."</p><p>Researchers don't expect these games to stop or slow the progress of Alzheimer's disease, but they are investigating whether engaging the creative abilities of these early-stage patients improves their lives.</p><p>Before and after the eight-week program, participants and their families are asked a series of questions, checking to see how the course changes their answers.</p><p>"We're asking people to tell us how they're feeling about their physical health, their mood," says Darby Morhardt, a research associate professor at Northwestern. "How do they feel about their memory? How did they feel about their family, about their relationships? And also, how do they feel about their current situation as a whole and their life as a whole?"</p><p>"When we think of people with Alzheimer's and other dementia, we think about people who are losing skills on a daily basis," says improv coach Dunford. "But here, they're learning some new things, too.</p><p>It gives them a feeling of — a sense of self-confidence that they were able to accomplish this. And in this disease, there's not a lot of opportunity to feel a sense of accomplishment."</p><div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2011 National Public Radio.</div></p> Sun, 14 Aug 2011 23:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-08-14/improv-alzheimers-sense-accomplishment-90592 A healthy dose of laughter for patients suffering from memory loss http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-05-25/healthy-dose-laughter-patients-suffering-memory-loss-87012 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-May/2011-05-25/DSCN0553.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>If laughter is the best medicine then Chicago must be the feel-good city. After all, it's the home of improvisational theater. Now researchers at <a href="http://brain.northwestern.edu/" target="_blank">Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine </a>are looking at other benefits of laughter.</p><p>They’re exploring whether improv might be just what the doctor ordered for a certain group of patients.</p><p>For WBEZ, Julianne Hill reports.</p><p>Researchers want to know even more about the powers of imagination-- and laughter.&nbsp; They are looking at improv to see how it affects the well-being of an unusual group of patients.</p><p>At 10:30 a.m. on a Monday morning, about a dozen people file into an improvisational theater class. Among them, a pretty blond in her &nbsp;50s and a woman who is a retired biologist and wears big glasses. And a retired professor.</p><p>The course is held in a conference room at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and looks like any other continuing education class. But the players in this class are different: Everyone in the ensemble has dementia.</p><p>Mary O’Hara is a social worker at Northwestern’s Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease Center.</p><p>“Improv is all about being in the moment. For someone with memory loss, that is a very safe place. Maybe thinking about the past and trying to remember makes the person a little bit anxious. Or even a bit sad because their memory is failing. And maybe thinking about the future too much is also anxiety provoking So being in the moment is such a safe and a good place to be,” O’Hara explained.</p><p>Northwestern’s researchers are working with the Lookingglass Theater Company. They want to know if this 8-week program using theater games affects the players’ quality of life.</p><p>“There’s no experience required, there’s no script, there’s no memorization. They bring to it just their creative potential. And they are successful at this,” O’Hara said.</p><p>Christine Mary Dunford with the Lookingglass led the group of novice performers in very simple improv games.</p><p>“Some of the basic tenants of improv that are perfect for working with people with dementia are the concept of yes, or yes and. So fundamental to all our work is that whatever answer someone comes up with the rest of us are going to be able to work with it,” Dunford began. “My favorite moments are when they are delighting each other and they have a lot of fun. You know what I think my favorite exercise of all time is? ‘Yes It Is’ because they take an object and they transform it and they always surprise themselves and the others. And it’s always magical and exciting,” Dunford explained.</p><p>Later, Dunford told the players to stand in a circle for a listening game called, “Chord.”</p><p>“We’re going to close our eyes and we’re just going to hum on the same sound. After a while, when it starts feeling really good, anybody who wants to can change the pitch or add a different kind of sound,” Dunford said.</p><p>After about two minutes, the chord morphed into nature sounds.</p><p>“We’re never trying to be funny. We’re just an improvisation group: We’re an ensemble of people working together and it ends up being funny quite often but just as often it ends up being touching or moving or provoking,” Dunford explained.</p><p>The players—like Wolfgang—all brought their lifetimes of experience into the room.</p><p>“I was a professor of Hebrew studies, old testament at this university here, oh, in the northern suburbs here. I have Alzheimer’s and that’s why I don’t remember it but you know it was one of the big universities in this area,” Wolfgang shared.</p><p>The group plays sculptor, molding one another into an emotion.</p><p>“One of you is the sculptor and one of you is the clay,” Dunford instructed the group.</p><p>Outside the room, Wolfgang’s wife Mary Beth waited for him.</p><p>Hill asked her what it’s like being the caregiver of someone with dementia, watching him lose skills on a day-by-day basis and to come to class and thinking that he’ll learn something.</p><p>“I know this is a study but, this is an opportunity for us to enjoy something.; partly together and partly separately. My hope for him is he maintains this very sweet disposition. There is still so much of him there. And we still have a deep relationship.&nbsp; The hardest thing for me is,” Mary Beth struggled, “that it can’t really grow.”</p><p>Early results show the players experience an improved quality of life; Wolfgang agreed.</p><p>“I think we all have become more thoughtful in terms of the work in which we live. And it will indirectly show itself with our interactions with our family we have grandchildren, a wife, etc. etc. and also in the wider world,” Wolfgang said.</p><p>Julianne Hill is a freelance writer and producer, and a former recipient of the Rosalynn Carter Fellowship for journalists covering mental health.</p><p><em>Music Button: Second Sky, "Under The Line", from the CD The Art of Influence, (ESL)</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 25 May 2011 14:16:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-05-25/healthy-dose-laughter-patients-suffering-memory-loss-87012