Cheri L. Elson and Allen G. Drescher, Retired
21 S. 2nd St. ● Ashland ● Oregon ● 97520
*** Due to COVID-19, we now offer web-based Video Conferencing. LEARN MORE HERE ***

95-Year Old Man Still Playing Jazz!

I came across this article the other day and wanted to share it with everyone!  The gentleman, Edward Hardy, suffers from dementia and lives in a nursing home in England.  In his prime, he was a jazz pianist, and told his caregivers that his only wish was to play in a jazz band again. Through amazing efforts of the nursing home, along with wonderful volunteer musicians, Mr. Hardy got his wish!  

One of the many wonderful aspects of this story is the fact that, through Mr. Hardy’s dementia, he has retained all his musical abilities.  Recent studies have shown that even simply listening to music activates EVERY part of the brain (unlike any other activity which focuses on one part only); when the subjects were playing instruments, the brain lit up like fireworks on the 4th of July!

I encourage you to click on the link below to read the short article and watch the attached video to get the full story.

95-Year Old Man Gets His Wish to Play in a Jazz Band Again

Cheri Elson
Gray Matters Consulting
(541) 708-1147

Cheri on the Radio!!!

I am delighted to be a guest on KSKQ’s “Your Entrepreneurial Ear”, hosted by Gary Einhorn, on May 11, 2016, at 1:00-1:30.  For those of you who may not know, I once had a radio show of my own and it was a blast!  It will be great fun to get behind the microphone again and chat with friends about important issues!

“Your Entrepreneurial Ear” is an informative show for all Rogue Valley Business Owners and aspiring ones. Gary Einhorn has owned five different businesses over the course of 30 entrepreneurial years. He is currently a Business Coach in private practice in Ashland. I am very excited to be his guest!

You can listen locally on the radio at KSKQ, FM 89.5, or via internet by going to KSKQ.

Cheri Elson
Gray Matters Consulting
(541) 708-1147

Parkinson’s and Dementia

Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative disorder of certain brain cells. Typically, it affects the ability of the body to move, with the most common issues being:

  • depression
  • anxiety
  • personality and behavior changes
  • sleep disturbances

In many cases, Parkinson’s does not affect a person’s ability to think, reason, learn, or remember. However, sometimes one or more cognitive processes are impaired to the point it is considered dementia. Fortunately, only about 20% of people with Parkinson’s suffer from dementia as well, and those symptoms typically take 10-15 years after the diagnosis to present.

When cognitive symptoms are present in someone suffering from Parkinson’s, they typically include the following:

  • loss of decision-making ability
  • inflexibility in adapting to changes
  • disorientation in familiar surroundings
  • problems learning to new material
  • difficulty concentrating
  • loss of short- and long-term memory
  • difficulty putting a sequence of events in correct order
  • problems using complex language and comprehending others’ complex language

The brain changes in Parkinson’s begin in a region of the brain that plays a key role in movement and are linked to abnormal microscopic deposits composed chiefly of alpha-synuclein, a protein that is found widely in the brain but whose normal function remains unknown. The deposits are called “Lewy bodies” and found in several other brain disorders, including Lewy body dementia. It may be that Parkinson’s dementia and Lewy body dementia are linked to the same underlying abnormalities in brain processing of alpha-synuclein.

As with other types of dementia, there is no single test, or combination of tests, that conclusively determines that a person has Parkinson’s dementia. Parkinson’s dementia is the diagnosis when the diagnosis of Parkinson’s (based on movement symptoms) occurs one year or more before the dementia symptoms appear. Interestingly, if the dementia symptoms appear within one year of the Parkinson’s diagnosis, or where they are present and diagnosed at the same time, the diagnosis is Lewy body dementia.

A diagnosis of Parkinson’s is life changing. But you are not alone. There are many things you can do to proactively affect the course of the disease. Many neurologists report that symptom deterioration is often much slower in patients who are able to take a positive and proactive stance toward their condition. I may be able help as an advocate, a resource, a coach. If you are struggling with Parkinson’s in your family and would like to learn more about how I may be of help, please do not hesitate to contact me and set up a consultation.

Cheri Elson
Gray Matters Consulting
(541) 708-1147

For more information:
eMedicine Health – Parkinson’s Disease and Dementia

The Michael J Fox Foundation – Understanding Parkinson’s

The Alzheimer’s Association

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