Wed09172014

News

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council last week approved the installation of two new directional signs on Foothill Expressway pointing motorists to the Woodland Plaza Shopping District.

The Los Altos City Council voted unanimou...

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Schools

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Edsel Clark, new Los Altos School District assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, above, facilitates a junior high mathematics curriculum meeting last week.

Edsel Clark, Ed.D., new assistant superintend...

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Community

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China


From IncredibleTravelPhotos.com
Jacque Kae’s “Mischievous” is one of the many photographs on display at Foothill College this month.

Photographs of the land and culture of Huangshan and Zhangjiajie, China, are on exhibit through Sept. 26 at t...

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Sports

Spartans shine in opener

Spartans shine in opener


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mountain View High’s Frank Kapp snares a touchdown pass from quarterback Owen Mountford in Friday’s win.

Leading by a point at halftime, the Mountain View High football team outscored visiting Del Mar 20-0 the rest of...

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Comment

A look ahead to the Nov. 4 election: Editorial

Election season is upon us. In Los Altos, we have three major local races ahead – two seats on the Los Altos City Council, and three seats each on the Los Altos School District and Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District boards of tr...

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Special Sections

Renovation complete,  Villa Siena looks to future

Renovation complete, Villa Siena looks to future


Above and Below Photos Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier; Left Photo Courtesy of Villa Siena
Villa Siena in Mountain View recently underwent a $35 million face-lift. The five-year project expanded their senior living community’s space and ability to serv...

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Business

Transitioning from postage to pets

Transitioning from postage to pets


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A new Pet Food Express store is scheduled to open at the Blossom Valley Shopping Center this month.

A site that previously existed to meet postal service needs will soon have an entirely different purpose – serving pe...

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Books

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights


A good story about aliens is always great fun to read – after all, it’s only by attempting to understand the human race from another perspective that we can see ourselves more objectively.

But readers who might be tempted to dismiss ye...

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People

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

Resident of San Jose and Los Altos, California

July 21, 1931 to August 4, 2014

Born in Arimo, Idaho, to Jerald Emmett and Rebecca Henderson Nelson Christiansen. Raised in Davis and Riverside, California, with summers in Downey, Idaho, and in Loga...

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Travel

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska


Sandy Powell/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident and bird photographer Sandy Powell recently visited Homer, Alaska, to photograph Sandhill cranes, below. While there, Powell also encountered moose, left.

Los Altos resident Sandy Powell, a...

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Stepping Out

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos


Courtesy of Los
The cast of Los Altos Stage Company’s “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” includes, from left, Mylissa Malley as Lin, Vanessa Alvarez as Betty, and Christina Bolognini as Pickles. Altos Stage Company

Los Altos Stage Company...

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Spiritual Life

9/11 survivor Michael Hingson finds purpose

Imagine walking down 78 flights of stairs – 1,463 individual steps. You are in imminent danger as you walk, unsure whether you can make it out of the building before it collapses or explodes. Struggling for each breath, you smell the heavy sten...

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Magazine

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living


Courtesy of Spectrum Interior Design
In place of a more traditional fireplace, this modern living room features a linear-flame firebox that emits heat while offering a sculpturelike design element.

After traveling the world and visiting a host...

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Mild Cognitive Dementia: Boosting brain health, reducing risk


Many of us have experienced a “senior moment” – you forget where you parked the car or you can’t quite find the word you want to say. As we age, we notice changes in our ability to remember and worry if it is a sign of normal aging or something more serious, such as dementia. When is it time to be concerned?

There is a gradual continuum of symptoms associated with the development of dementia, starting with the cognitive changes associated with normal aging. In between the two ends of the spectrum is a clinical diagnosis of Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). The Alzheimer’s Association reports that between 10 and 20 percent of Americans over age 65 suffer from MCI.

In 2011, the National Institute on Aging and the Alzheimer’s Association collaborated to establish criteria used to diagnose the condition, defined as “cognitive changes serious enough to be noticed by the individuals experiencing them or other people, but not severe enough to interfere with daily life or independent function.” Because is it often difficult to differentiate the symptoms of MCI from those that would be considered “normal,” patients with suspected MCI can undergo a series of neuropsychological memory tests.

A diagnosis of MCI is considered a risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s disease, but that is a far from a certain outcome. Some people with MCI never get worse, and a few actually get better.

Life with MCI can be challenging. Patients and caregivers need to find ways to adapt to varying symptoms and learn new skills for managing the condition. Finding help for this poorly understood condition can be difficult.

Resources for MCI sufferers

A new book, “Living with Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Guide to Maximizing Brain Health and Reducing Risk of Dementia” (Oxford University Press, 2013), is the first written specifically for individuals diagnosed with MCI and their caregivers. It is an invaluable resource filled with practical information that can help the many people impacted by the condition.

Authors Nicole D. Anderson, Kelly J. Murphy and Angela K. Troyer are neuropsychologists who work with MCI patients. Their experience and knowledge shine throughout the book. “Living with Mild Cognitive Impairment” provides an in-depth yet understandable portrait of MCI, including how it differs from dementia, how it is diagnosed and how it is treated.

The final section of the book – “What Can Be Done to Improve Prognosis?” – is perhaps the most valuable. It includes scientifically based strategies for coping with and combating cognitive decline. Diet, exercise, cognitive and social engagement are addressed.

The final chapter, “Memory Strategies,” is full of exercises and tips for improving day-to-day functioning. Case studies throughout the book illustrate concepts, and each chapter offers suggestions for questions to ask the doctor.

Ever wonder what it feels like to experience dementia? Psychologist Richard Taylor compiled a fascinating collection of essays in his book “Alzheimer’s from the Inside Out” (Health Professions Press, 2007). Taylor, diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at age 58, eloquently and candidly chronicles his decline.

Taylor reminds us that those living with dementia are complete human beings with the same desires and needs as anyone else. Diagnosed with probable Alzheimer’s 10 years ago, he has dedicated his life to what he calls “humanizing dementia care.” In addition to his book, he has a website and blog, richardtaylorphd.com, where he invites anyone to contact him. This insightful book is highly recommended for caregivers, both personal and professional, and may even be appropriate for some Alzheimer’s patients.

Both “Living with Mild Cognitive Impairment” and “Alzheimer’s from the Inside Out” can be found on the shelves of Stanford Health Library. To learn more about Mild Cognitive Impairment and dementia prevention, diagnosis and treatment, call, email or stop by a branch. Librarians and trained volunteers will help with research, free of charge.

The main branch of Stanford Health Library is located at Hoover Pavilion, 211 Quarry Road, Suite 201. Other branches are located on the first floor of Stanford Hospital and the main level of Stanford’s Cancer Center.

Nancy Dickenson is head librarian at Stanford Health Library. For more information, call 725-8400 or visit healthlibrary.stanford.edu.

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