Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Beating Alzheimer's

 This is about “Happy Valley” and not about technology.

I am posting it here because we do not yet have and a site for residents of this community, as done commonly elsewhere.

It happens that there are two very different directions being taken to address the issues of dementia here, maybe even three.

There is unanimity here that action needs to be taken, even though this community is very well regarded in the way it handles dementia treatment already.

Views on dementia treatment are changing, however.     There is a groundswell of change.

The most current thinking is that there is a whole constellation of changes in the brain which can create dementia.       Basically the brain’s regulating system gets out of whack. It needs to be restored to proper functioning before serious problems start.

The causes are genes, diet, exercise, medications, and so on.

Prevention would address these issues by DNA analysis, exhaustive blood tests beyond those normally offered, and many other diagnostic procedures,

Then there would be corrective follow up treatment for the issues found in each individual case.

I am especially concerned about others because it happens that I have a copper deficiency which resulted in muscle atrophy and loss of balance and leads automatically to Alzheimer’s, IF It had not been diagnosed and then treated.    The blood test that identified the condition is rarely done. Half a dozen neurologists failed to identify the problem until I got to the University of Pennsylvania. 

I'm grateful now that Happy Valley's outstanding physical therapy department was then able to put me on the road to recovery with intensive workouts on fitness machines with increasing weights.    Unfortunately it does not have the best equipment wherever it does physical therapy, 

And, unfortunately, it happens at Happy Valley that, while there has been new preventive outreach, the wellness and fitness program has deteriorated on one campus from what it was just a few years ago.

At this location all fitness classes have been discontinued, facilities reduced or eliminated, and essential equipment removed.       

Meanwhile, the main emphasis has been in building a new community for those already with advanced dementia.

I simply feel that this is like closing the barn door after the horse has gone.    

Nowadays the efforts need to be to restore the brain to normal functioning by addressing those issues which created the problem in the first place.

If that is not done seniors, and this community, will be more and more overwhelmed with the increase in dementia, as the treating facilities drown in costs.

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Sunday, July 14, 2019

Changing My Computer Ways

 There was a time when I would have assigned certain tasks to each of my computer devices.     Some would be done on PC. Others on the tablet. Yet others on the smartphone.

As time went by I disciplined myself to do more and more on the smartphone so I wouldn't have to save up a group of tasks for later.     I could get them done, off my to-do list, and out of mind now.

The end result of this progress was that I realized recently that I needed to be able to do all tasks on all devices.     

That final step took a bit of doing.

I reformatted my old PC and put only a few applications on it.     These included the browser, a DVD writer, windirstat, and Audacity.     These handled a few tasks I couldn't do elsewhere.

The main function left to my PC was then to be able to handle files, which it does better than any other device.

To get at these files from anywhere,  I installed the number of cloud storage apps.     These included iCloud, Drive, Google photos, Dropbox. OneDrive,  Amazon music and photos.     

For safety I allowed some duplication.      For example, my music appears in several different drives.     

Also, I saved everything on a $24 200gb SanDisk Drive in place of my PC's hard drive.     I also added such drives to smartphone and Walmart’s new $64 ONN 8” tablet.      

Eventually the PC, which takes up too much space, will be discarded.      I have an Intel Windows PC stick which will replace it. My display is actually also a TV, though all I really need for TV is a display with YouTube TV and no cable.

I also downloaded all my Amazon purchased music and put it on the 200gb drive.

To ease the process of getting at information on various devices, I used aggregator apps, such as CloudBeats for music.    I only need to go to one place to get access to music anywhere in the cloud.

As for books and documents, I access them from Kindle and Google Books.    These can also be downloaded for backup, but the process is more complicated.    For safety I simply duplicate uploading my own documents to each.

The iPad presented a somewhat challenging a problem.     Its weak point is file handling, but that is about to change.     I bought the newest iPad to be able to run iOS 13 for that reason.       I could simply have relied on Bluetooth access to WiFi drives. Or I could have bought an iPad was a lot more memory.