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Deborah Bier, PhD

Deborah Bier, PhD, has a master's in counseling psychology and a doctorate in therapeutic counseling. In addition, Debbie has obtained the following credentials: Certified Alzheimer's Educator™ – National Certification Board for Alzheimer & Aging Care Certified Dementia Practitioner® – National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners Certified Dementia Care Partner – Dementia Care Professionals of America, a division of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America Certificate in Gerontology – Allegra Learning Solutions, LLC Mental Health First Aid – National Council for Behavioral Health

Recent Posts

3 Myths About Aging and Depression

Posted by Deborah Bier, PhD on May 30, 2018 at 8:00 AM

Depression in older adults is not uncommon, yet there are many unfounded myths about it. Let’s dispel three of these, because believing them can delay or prevent timely treatment.

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Topics: Aging, Healthy Living

6 Surprising Facts About Parkinson’s Disease

Posted by Deborah Bier, PhD on April 18, 2018 at 8:00 AM

Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that develops slowly over time. About 10,000,000 people around the world (including 1,000,000 in the U.S. and 55,000 in Canada) live with Parkinson’s. This is a long-lasting condition (up to 20 years) that has no cure. However, medications and therapies are available to help people manage their symptoms better.

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Topics: Fall Prevention, Healthy Living

Communication and Dementia: Speaking Through the Silence

Posted by Deborah Bier, PhD on March 28, 2018 at 9:00 AM

Certain types of dementia (e.g., Alzheimer’s, Lewy body, Parkinson’s and frontotemporal dementia) may affect language ability. People who have these conditions may forget the names of people and things. They could use words that mean something entirely unrelated. Sometimes, they speak in “word salad,” using a combination of words and sounds that seem to make no sense. Over time, many might stop speaking entirely.

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Topics: Aging, Caregiving, Alzheimer's and Dementia

Not All Memory Loss Is Dementia

Posted by Deborah Bier, PhD on March 7, 2018 at 9:00 AM

When you or someone you love experiences a memory lapse, you may worry it is the start of dementia. Yet, most of us who have memory challenges as we age are not experiencing dementia.

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Topics: Aging, Alzheimer's and Dementia

Medications Can Mimic Dementia

Posted by Deborah Bier, PhD on December 28, 2017 at 8:00 AM

Did you know many common medications can mimic dementia in older adults? Or, that these medications can make pre-existing symptoms worse in someone who has dementia? These medications include both prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs that could be in your loved one’s medicine cabinet.

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Topics: Aging, Alzheimer's and Dementia, Healthy Living

Malcolm Young, David Cassidy and Young Onset Dementia

Posted by Deborah Bier, PhD on November 21, 2017 at 1:13 PM

Both Malcolm Young, guitarist with the band AC/DC, and David Cassidy, 1970s teen musical sensation, have been in the news lately due to their  young onset  dementia. Young, 64, died Nov.18, and Cassidy, 67, died Nov. 21.

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Topics: Aging, Alzheimer's and Dementia, Healthy Living

Happy Holidays and Dementia

Posted by Deborah Bier, PhD on November 13, 2017 at 8:00 AM

When there is dementia in the family, we encounter new challenges with holiday gatherings. Dad wants to tell his World War II story many times over Christmas dinner. Mom gets overheated from the cheerful fire in the fireplace and removes her shirt. 

Where you had hoped for smiles, hugs and happy chatter, instead there are shouts, tears and toileting accidents.

With the right approach, everyone can enjoy the holidays, especially the person with dementia. Keep these three important ideas in mind:

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Topics: Aging, Caregiving, Alzheimer's and Dementia

Respecting Preferences Makes a Difference

Posted by Deborah Bier, PhD on November 8, 2017 at 9:00 AM

How do you make a parent’s birthday special? Maybe Mom or Dad has their favorite breakfast in bed. Maybe there’s a special card, gift or places to go together. Everything is meant to say “You’re important to me, I know what makes you happy and I love you.” This is communicated through the choices made: Mom’s favorite coffee. A shirt for Dad in his favorite color. Specially chosen sights and sounds that hit them right in their “Ahhhhh!” spots as we try to make them feel happy and honored.

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Topics: Aging, Alzheimer's and Dementia, Healthy Living

Dementia, Home Safety and Medications

Posted by Deborah Bier, PhD on October 3, 2017 at 9:00 AM

Elders too often are harmed at home due to inadvertently taking too much medication. This risk is greater with dementia because the person may not recall if or when they had their last dose. So, they take it again… and sometimes, even again. Or take the wrong medication or get confused about the instructions. Was it one pill every four hours or four pills every one hour?

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Topics: Aging, Alzheimer's and Dementia, Safety, Healthy Living

Will You Get Dementia From Soda?

Posted by Deborah Bier, PhD on April 27, 2017 at 9:05 AM

You may have seen it on the news or social media – two new studies suggest soda pop may be linked to stroke and dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. The studies appeared in the journals Stroke and Alzheimer’s & Dementia.

If you’re a soda pop drinker – sugary or diet – this may give you pause for thought. Here are four things to consider:

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Topics: Alzheimer's and Dementia, Healthy Living

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