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Medicare Pays For Alzheimer’s Screening, But Do You Want To Know?  – By Michelle Andrews:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/05/06/309834180/medicare-pays-for-alzheimers-screening-but-do-you-want-to-know

Medicare will pay for a screening but the science isn’t there yet to know.  At
DriveAble Solutions we do clinical tests that are statistically significant to
give us a “heads-up” that there could be problems behind the wheel.  That is why
everyone gets a road test with our Certified Driving Rehabilitation
Specialists. 

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Velcro isn’t just for children’s shoes anymore. It’s used in home decorating, army tanks, and even astronauts’ spacesuits. We use it in therapy settings and also in our
driving to temporarly fit someone with an arm rest or other adaptive driving
equipment.  It all started when Swiss engineer George de Mestral noticed burrs
stuck to his clothing during a hike. Mestral studied the burrs under a
microscope and discovered they were covered in tiny hooks, allowing them to grab
clothes. 8 years of research later, he had created 2 strips of fabric: one
covered with thousands of hooks, and the other with tiny loops. Though many give
NASA credit for inventing Velcro, Mestral actually patented the idea in 1955. It
was mostly used in athletic equipment and shoes until Velcro’s Director of Sales
appeared on the David Letterman Show in 1984. The interview ended with
Letterman–dressed in a Velcro suit–jumping off of a trampoline onto a wall of
Velcro. He stuck, and so did the idea of non conventional Velcro applications,
causing demand to explode. It is even said that the U.S. Army has developed a
silent version for soldiers’ uniforms, but since it’s classified information,
nobody has gotten that rumor to, um, stick.

MIT Age Lab and Joseph Coughlin

I met Joe Coghlin while speaking at a seminar on aging and driving ten years ago in Phoenix. He is a very dynamic man.  I encourage you to check out his web site and his links on his web page.   He has developed the MIT Age Lab which focuses on aging and many topics including aging and driving.  Here is the link to his site and a little about his organization:  http://agelab.mit.edu/                          

About AgeLab                                   

In 1900, life expectancy for much of the industrialized world was under 50. Today, living well into one’s 70s, 80s and beyond can be expected. How will we spend and make the most of our 30-year longevity bonus? When asked about her longevity on her 119th birthday, Sarah Knauss said she enjoyed her long life because she “had her health and can do things.”

The MIT AgeLab was created in 1999 to invent new ideas and creatively translate technologies into practical solutions that improve people’s health and enable them to “do things” throughout the lifespan. Equal to the need for ideas and new technologies is the belief that innovations in how products are designed, services are delivered, or policies are implemented are of critical importance to our quality of life tomorrow.

Based within MIT’s School of Engineering’s Engineering Systems Division, the AgeLab has assembled a multi-disciplinary team of researchers, business partners, universities, and the aging community to design, develop and deploy innovations that touch nearly all aspects of how we will live, work and play tomorrow.

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Researchers at the Kessler Foundation in New Jersey report results of a clinical trial showing that a specific type of memory training improves learning in people with MS for at least 6 months after the training has ended, and also benefits other aspects of quality of life. This controlled trial, funded by the National Institutes of Health, provides important results that should help promote the benefits of cognitive rehabilitation and improve its coverage by insurers. Nancy Chiaravalloti, PhD, John DeLuca, PhD, and colleagues recently reported their results early online in the journal Neurology.

Background: More than half of people with MS experience cognitive changes, particularly problems with learning and memory. These problems can affect a person’s quality of life by interfering with work, social interactions, and other situations. Because of different methods used to study cognitive rehabilitation, there has been controversy as to whether interventions are effective in improving memory problems in people with MS. Dr. Chiaravalloti and colleagues conducted a clinical trial of people with MS to see if a specific type of behavioral training can improve memory.

The study: The researchers performed a double-blind, randomized controlled trial in which participants and therapists were unaware of the assignment to a particular group. They enrolled 86 people with various subtypes of MS. Forty-five participants were assigned to a “treatment” group, and 41 were assigned to a “placebo” group.

The treatment group met with a therapist and underwent a type of behavioral training, called Story Memory Technique, which involves the use of imagery and context-based memory training. The placebo group also interacted with a therapist but engaged in tasks that did not specifically target learning. Each group completed 10 training sessions (twice a week) over 5 weeks. Memory tests and questionnaires to assess anxiety, depression, and other parameters were completed by trial participants before, immediately following completion of training, and 6 months after completion. In a second part of the study, participants in the treatment group received additional once-monthly “booster” sessions involving applying the Story Memory Technique to real-life situations, while the placebo group had monthly sessions that did not involve this training technique.

Results revealed that more participants in the treatment group than the placebo group showed improved learning and memory, improved general contentment, improved planning and organizing ability, and reduced apathy. These effects of the behavioral training were sustained for at least 6 months. The “booster” training appeared to provide no additional benefit.

Comment: This controlled trial provides important new evidence that cognitive rehabilitation can improve learning and memory in people with MS, and should help promote the benefits of cognitive rehabilitation and improve its coverage by insurers. The results are also consistent with previous studies suggesting that cognitive rehabilitation improves not only the targeted function, but extends to improvement in other parameters such as fatigue, depression, and overall quality of life. Further studies will enhance our understanding of who will benefit most, and the best types and length of training needed to optimize success.

What Is The Story Method?

Usage

Use to remember a set of words or sequence of activities.

Description

Develop a story that includes the items to remember, in sequence (if sequence is important).

Make the story vivid and easy to remember, with silly things happening and with strong sensory content.

Example

I want to remember the following list of words:

HAT, RUN, FAT, BIRD, GREEN, GRANDFATHER

I make up a story as follows: I see a man with very tall hat, I call him and he runs away, but then bumps into a large, fat bird, sitting on the village green. My grandfather appears out of thin air and grabs him for me.

Discussion

We understand much of the world around us through stories and use them to communicate not just what happens but how we think. Stories are thus ideal mechanisms for remembering otherwise disjoint things.

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As we launch our new website and Blog, it seems appropriate to reprint these Driving Reminders for the Holiday Season.  We recently had a senior driver who arrived at the evaluation with only 15 pounds of air in each tire.  He had been driving on the freeway.  A blowout might have caused a fatality to him and or his wife who was the passenger in the vehicle.  The other problem we encounter a lot is driving with people who are distracted by their own conversation.  Agree to not talk while driving, especially those people with TBI and or Aging Cognitive Decline.  Drive Safely this season!

CONSUMER ADVISORY: NHTSA Reminds Motorists Traveling this Holiday Season to Drive Sober, Buckle Up, Avoid Distraction and Attend to Vehicle Maintenance before Taking to the Roads 

NHTSA 41-13
Friday, December 20, 2013
Contact: Kathryn Henry, 202-366-9550,
Public.Affairs@dot.gov

WASHINGTON – Now that winter weather has arrived across most of the nation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reminds holiday travelers to take a few safety precautions for safe travels for the remainder of 2013 and throughout the New Year. In particular, NHTSA urges motorists to ensure that all vehicles are in optimal driving condition and properly equipped, especially in inclement weather.

  • Ensure your vehicle is road-worthy – No one wants their car to break down in any season, but especially not in cold or snowy winter weather. Start the season off right by ensuring your vehicle is in optimal condition. Motorists can cruise NHTSA’s interactive safety landscape to reveal tips and friendly reminders on winter driving measures to get to their destination safely.
  • Don’t drink and drive – Last year, in the month of December alone, 830 people lost their lives due to drunk driving. Be responsible and don’t drink and drive. If you plan to drink, choose a designated driver before going out.
  • Protect child passengers – If you’re traveling with children, remember the best way to protect them in the car is to put them in the right child safety seat, and use it the right way. All children 13 and younger should ride in the back seat.
  • Don’t drive distracted – Put your phone away when driving. Distracted driving can be anything that pulls your attention away from driving, including cell phone use, texting while driving, eating, drinking, and using in-vehicle technologies and portable electronic devices. According to NHTSA data from 2012, 10 percent of fatal crashes and 18 percent of injury crashes were distraction-related.
  • Avoid the “No Zone” – There are areas around large trucks and buses where you can’t be seen. Crashes are more likely to occur in these No Zones. It is critical that all motorists share the road safely with large trucks and buses by giving them plenty of space to maneuver. Avoid lingering in blind spots, following too closely or making sudden or erratic lane changes.
  • Buckle seat belts – All drivers and passengers should wear seat belts every time when traveling in a vehicle. Wearing a seat belt is one of the best defenses to prevent injury and death in a crash – and it remains your best defense against a drunk driver.