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Home health aids and supplements with jellyfish compounds

Created date

May 10th, 2018

Dr. Stewart joined Wind Crest in November 2013.

Health and wellness experts practice exclusively at Erickson Living communities all over the U.S. Dr. Stewart received his bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University in College Station, Tex., and his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. He completed his residency at Floyd County Hospital in Rome, Ga. Board-certified in family medicine, Stewart joined Wind Crest in November 2013.

Q: I want to hire a home health aide for my husband. How can I find a good agency?

A: When you are considering a caregiver for a loved one, start by getting some recommendations for agencies from your husband’s doctor, a social worker, family, or friends. Make sure the agency is licensed in your state (if the state requires it), and it should be Medicare-certified for federal health and safety standards. Ask how they screen their employees and also verify references of candidates for the position. Check the aide’s experience and credentials and whether they are licensed/certified (if required for the position). You need to have an idea about which duties you need help with in order to know what type of training and experience an aide needs to possess. Lastly, interview several candidates to see how they get along with you and your husband.

Q: Do supplements that contain jellyfish compounds actually help improve memory?

A. The compound that is purportedly in these supplements is called apoaequorin, which is derived from certain types of luminescent jellyfish. There is no scientific evidence that it works as advertised, and last year the Federal Trade Commission charged the main company that sells it with fraud, saying their claims were unsubstantiated. A clinical trial called the Madison Memory Study involving about 200 subjects failed to demonstrate a statistically significant improvement in memory among participants who took apoaequorin versus the placebo. In addition, there is no evidence proving that the supplement can penetrate the brain at all.

The Alzheimer’s Association warns consumers about supplements that claim to help or prevent memory loss because companies that market dietary supplements are not required to prove their safety or efficacy in the same manner as drugs. There is also no way to know what is contained in supplements, or whether amounts are consistent. Another concern is interactions that can occur between supplements and prescription medications. Ask your doctor before taking any dietary supplement.