Articles dealing with decision making choices, medications, dialysis, drugs, etc.

What is dementia?
This refers to a group of diseases that cause “confusion” with memory loss. Types of dementia include Alzheimer’s (the most common one), Vascular type (caused by small strokes), Parkinson’s-associated dementia, and others such as Lewy-Body Dementia.  Dementia is progressive and incurable, lasting from three to 10 years.  Progressive means the symptoms get worse over time. Incurable means that the memory loss is permanent. Memory loss makes it difficult to remember names and places, how to do the usual activities of living, etc.  People with dementia eventually require complete care; over half of all nursing home residents have some type of dementia.

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Mom is 82, a diabetic, and her sugars often drop below 100 and she feels lightheaded.  She’s been told that she should keep her sugars between 70 and 120 but we’ve noticed she often feels better if they are higher.  What is a good range of finger-stick sugars for her?

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Feeding tubes were designed to artificially provide nutrition in the hopes of maintaining body weight and health, and to prevent dehydration and starvation, when a person could not eat enough calories for whatever reason.

There are two kinds of tubes.  One is inserted through the nose to the stomach and taped in place.  It is temporary, for up to six weeks, and is usually for people who cannot eat because they are on a breathing machine while in Intensive Care or have had some other procedure preventing them from swallowing.  It requires no anesthetic to insert.

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