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  1. #1
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Alzheimer's and Bicycling - Anyone?

    I was just reading an article in the local paper (yes, I still get and read a newspaper) and the stats are a bit scary. Of the 5 million folks currently diagnosed with Alz, 59% are between 64 and 84. A male at age 65 has a 9% chance of getting Alz, while a female has a 17% chance, and the stats just get higher as one ages.

    Which brings up the question, which may be very delicate and maybe should not be discussed here. Feel free to ignore this thread.

    Anyone here bicycling with diagnosed Alzheimers?

    Anyone know anyone bicycling with diagnosed Alzheimers?

    If so, how is it working out?

    And, no, neither my wife (76>77) nor I (74>75) have stated Alz symptoms.

    Do you think bicycling delays or precludes Alz?

    Do you have a long-term care policy covering Alz?

    We have several folks in our church with Alz. Nora and I used to give musical programs to an Alz home, and my singing group still does.
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 08-03-14 at 05:46 PM.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  2. #2
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    FIL had Alzheimer's and rode his bike often at first, even recording the mileage for every ride. His neurologist was very insistent about making sure he was riding or walking. As his condition progressed, he would tell us he rode the bike but checking the odometer showed he hadn't.

    Along with good nutrition, exercising both the body and brain is supposed to be very beneficial in delaying things.

  3. #3
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldTryGuy View Post
    FIL had Alzheimer's and rode his bike often at first, even recording the mileage for every ride. His neurologist was very insistent about making sure he was riding or walking. As his condition progressed, he would tell us he rode the bike but checking the odometer showed he hadn't.

    Along with good nutrition, exercising both the body and brain is supposed to be very beneficial in delaying things.
    Thanks for the response. I am interested in the neuro's insistence on exercise, as the Alz homes we have performed are all locked units, and I see little evidence of exercise, even though some of the residents are alert and can have conversations.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  4. #4
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    Having noticed changes taking place, I pushed for the testing to be done. Being diagnosed early allowed for the exercise routine since his comprehension was still there. He was also driving early on so we had Family Locator activated on his cell phone. This sent a text when he went outside the 1/4 mile radius limit from his house and we could see where he was and direction headed. It became very useful and prevented possible problems a number of times.

  5. #5
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    There are no guarantees in life, but I still strongly believe that a healthful lifestyle will enhance one's quality of life and reduce one's chances of getting any of the dreaded diseases of old age, or at least slow the onset and reduce the severity. Most Alzheimer's facilities probably exacerbate the problem with a poor diet and lack of exercise.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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  6. #6
    A might bewildered... Dudelsack's Avatar
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    You do what you can.

    I ride bikes and play online chess. Diet is anther issue.

    I understand these activites improve your odds.

  7. #7
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Did you see Bill Moyers yesterday they discused Alzheimer's in the context of Shakespeare's King Lear character.

    with actor John Lithgow , who plays that part in the current NYC free play in the park .. Moyers & Company | BillMoyers.com
    Last edited by fietsbob; 08-04-14 at 10:27 AM.

  8. #8
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    I would assume as the disease progresses, things like navigation and road judgment would degrade. I tell my wife that if my vision gets worse, we'll be kicking my son off the stoker's position on our tandem and I'm riding back there. Maybe the same would be an option?

  9. #9
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrankHudson View Post
    I would assume as the disease progresses, things like navigation and road judgment would degrade. I tell my wife that if my vision gets worse, we'll be kicking my son off the stoker's position on our tandem and I'm riding back there. Maybe the same would be an option?
    That sounds like a great way to keep someone physically active, despite an impairment.

    I had never contemplated it for Alzheimer's, but why not? I have known two blind gentlemen who were avid and competent stokers.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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  10. #10
    Seat Sniffer Biker395's Avatar
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    There appears to be evidence that a lot of exercise slows or defers progression of the disease in those having genetic markers indicating that they prone to it:

    Physical activity reduces hippocampal atrophy in elders at genetic risk for Alzheimer's disease

    Of course, I'd do it anyway.
    Proud parent of a happy inner child ...
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  11. #11
    Seat Sniffer Biker395's Avatar
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    Another study ... this one linking Vitamin D deficiency to Alzheimer's:

    News - Link between vitamin D and dementia risk confirmed - Medical School - University of Exeter
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  12. #12
    Getting older and slower!
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    Anyone riding with Alzheimer's? I can't remember if that's one of my diagnosis or not. But I do recall riding today, so I guess not.

    Seriously, exercise is good for Alzheimer patients, but I recommend they ride with someone. I used to ride with such a person, to our mutual enjoyment and health. However as the disease progresses, he got too disoriented to ride the roads.

  13. #13
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    Altzheimers and Dementia are two reasons why I have kept up the cycling. It was back in the 90's when our dad passed away after going through Pick's disease, and our mom passed on her 90th b-day this past March due to Dementia/Parkinson's . Our sister passed back in '07 of Lou Gehrig's disease. Looking back, none of them were really physically active in their better years. Our sister just couldn't; she was robbed of her strength, muscles and mind early in life.

    I have been riding as often as possible, and always take the steps at work, not the elevator. So far, so good.

    Another thing to do: Learn something new, something challenging. You have to exercise the mind too!

    Just speaking from past observations.

    Phil

  14. #14
    Spin Meister icyclist's Avatar
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    I'd imagine those Alzheimer's are in locked units for their own protection, and the lack of exercise has to do with the lack of money they've got, or their family has, to hire someone to help them exercise. Not to mention they might be quite resistant, by the time they're in a condition that they need to be in a locked unit, to engage in exercise.
    This post is a natural product. Slight variations in spelling and grammar enhance its individual character and beauty and are in no way to be considered flaws or defects.

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  15. #15
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by icyclist View Post
    I'd imagine those Alzheimer's are in locked units for their own protection, and the lack of exercise has to do with the lack of money they've got, or their family has, to hire someone to help them exercise. Not to mention they might be quite resistant, by the time they're in a condition that they need to be in a locked unit, to engage in exercise.
    I have been in many "locked" units where the doors are locked primarily to keep the residents from wandering away and for liability purposes of the "home.". Otherwise, the residents - at least many, appear able to walk quite well and could be taken out in 2's or 3's to get out of the building and go for a walk. Many of these are small group homes with perhaps 5-6 residents.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

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