Mon09152014

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

JEANNE PACKARD

After suffering a stroke in May, Jeanne Packard died August 10, 2014 at age 83. She was born in 1931 in Berlin, Germany, the only child of Emily Channel and Frank Howe Packard of Chicago, IL. Jeanne is survived by 5 great grandchildren. She was a lon...

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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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Rotary speaker Troxel gives update on the battle against Alzheimer's disease


Town Crier File Photo
David Troxel speaks at a summer symposium in Los Altos. Troxel offered an update on Alzheimer’s at recent Rotary Club meeting.

Alzheimer’s disease advocate and author David B. Troxel warned that the “most expensive disease in the U.S.” is diagnosed every 68 seconds in America, and that a death from Alzheimer’s touches one in every four or five American families.

There is no magic pill to halt Alzheimer’s disease, said Troxel, who spoke at a Dec. 5 Rotary Club of Los Altos Rotary meeting.

While 460 unique compounds were researched in the U.S. between 2002 and 2012, the failure rate was 99.6 percent, Troxel said. Although core knowledge about Alzheimer’s doubles every 18 months, long-term care is needed for the 15 million cases estimated to be diagnosed by 2050, he added.

Troxel, co-author of five books on caring for Alzheimer’s sufferers, shared history of the affliction.

In 1906, Dr. Alois Alzheimer, a German physician, coined the term “lunacy” for the profound memory loss and delusions suffered by his patient, Auguste Deter. After Deter’s death, Alzheimer documented an abnormal buildup of plaque in her brain cells.

Among the numerous varieties of dementia, the pioneering doctor’s name is still used for the largest – Alzheimer’s disease. Troxel said small strokes are the second most common cause of dementia. Among the U.S. population 85 and older, 50 percent are expected to develop Alzheimer’s, he noted, while the younger onset form of the disease already affects 400,000 to 500,000 Americans.

A number of symptoms point to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, Troxel said, including short-term memory loss that disrupts daily life; disorientation; challenges in solving problems and planning, like the steps in making coffee; confusion of time and place; new problems in speaking and writing words; misplacing items; and losing the ability to retrace steps. Dr. Bruce Miller, director of the UC San Francisco Memory and Aging Center, documented an accompanying early spike in creativity.

The four drugs commonly prescribed can slow – but do not halt – dementia. Troxel advocates the “Best Friends Approach” for Alzheimer’s caregivers. Because an Alzheimer’s patient may feel like a stranger in a foreign land, socialization is important in stimulating brain activity. Purposeful chores like sweeping the patio, watering plants and learning in a class setting are helpful, he said. Troxel also recommended exercise, creative activities, conversations with laughter, music, exercise, being outdoors and contact with animals as valuable.

Informing caregivers of the positive events in a patient’s “life story” could help them connect with the fading memory of their patient, Troxel noted. Stories could include the patient’s favorite ball team, a cherished tea party, a prized accomplishments or a favorite song. Troxel said lyrics “live in a different part of the brain” from logical thought, so they are more easily recalled.

The knack for discovering clever strategies to approach the difficult problem of caring for an Alzheimer’s sufferer requires humor, flexibility, patience and respect for the patient, said Troxel, adding that one facility organized a grape-stomping event that brought exercise and laughter to patients.

Troxel said that in his estimation, the best Alzheimer’s caregivers would be barmaids and beauticians, because they are accustomed to listening and chatting.

For more information on Alzheimer’s disease, visit the Mountain View-based Alzheimer’s Association of Northern California and Northern Nevada at alz.org.

Marlene Cowan is a member of the Rotary Club of Los Altos. For more information, visit losaltosrotary.org.

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