Careful with the Holiday Food

It’s easy to indulge during holiday season – that’s kind of what the season is for, to celebrate (and with food). Nothing wrong with enjoying your holiday favourites, but exercise some self-control lest you want to pay the price next year. Over-indulgence never helped anybody, and it certainly won’t help you. Some common culprits:

Sweets – Cakes, biscuits, eggnog, hot cocoa… all very tasty but can aggravate any ongoing conditions that skate dangerously on diabetes or blood disorders. Digestion can also be affected; sweet before savoury can curb appetite, which means proper nutrition isn’t being followed.

Alcohol – If a glass of red wine helps, holiday parties always go overboard with beer before liquor. Alcohol acts the same way as sugar spikes in the bloodstream; pancreas are overworked and insulin production is overloaded. Liver functions are affected, and kidneys may also suffer because alcohol, though a liquid, can dehydrate the body.

Fats – Healthful fats are needed by the brain, but in the absence of healthful fats, the brain will cling to any fat, even if it’s unhealthful. If you’re “running” from task to task, event to event, person to person – you’re probably not actually running… and getting enough exercise. But you might be eating a lot of food, and if you’re staying away from sweets, there might be more fats in your diet than you realize.

There’s no sense to restrict yourself from enjoying the holiday season, but there’s no reason to let it destroy your brain either.

Caregiver Care

Caring for loved ones who have Alzheimer’s disease can take its heavy toll. Not only are there physical considerations to consider, such as being physically present and reorganising life schedules to maintain supervision, psychological and emotional problems tend to become a huge burden to bear. Prior to diagnosis, it is common for the family members to experience frustration and anger because it seems this person is forgetting “on purpose” or not listening in the first place. As the disease progresses, caregivers’ identities are often forgotten or confused with someone else, which can lead to feelings of hurt and being unappreciated.

It’s important to remember that people with Alzheimer’s disease, no matter how “difficult” they become, are not changing themselves to intentionally become crueller versions of their former selves. Aside from that, it’s very important for caregivers to find therapies for themselves in order to relieve the stress that could eventually lead to depression and exhaustion.

Many alternative therapies have had wonderful results in caring for the caregiver: aromatherapy, chiropractic, massage, reflexology, therapeutic music, yoga. There may be the one method that replaces the stress with healing, or it could be a combination of many therapies. It may take awhile to grow accustomed to such methods; it could be worth exploring the different therapies long before any experience with Alzheimer’s disease so that in times of great stress, finding the right care won’t be an additional stressor.

Robot Therapy (The Feed)

Robots are being used everywhere around the world. From manufacturing, to bomb disposal, robots have become a necessary part of our modern existence. Now robots are making their way in to therapy sessions. 

The Feed’s Marc Fennell looks at how robots are being used in therapy sessions.

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