By Denise Freese
The Alzheimer’s Association has designated the month of June for building awareness about Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia. According to the CDC, in 2020 nearly six million Americans were living with Alzheimer’s Disease. The number is projected to be closer to 14 million people by the year 2060.
“Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia,” explained Michele Jansen, current Activity Director and former Memory Care Assistant for Newton Village. “Dementia is the general term for many forms of decline in cognitive function, including Alzheimer’s, Lewy Body Disease, and Pick’s Disease.”
The Alzheimer’s Association stresses the importance of early detection. Some early signs of dementia include difficulty solving problems, difficulty completing familiar tasks, confusion with time or place, misplacing things, the inability to retrace steps, and changes in mood or personality.
“At Newton Village, we have an Assisted Memory Care unit with nine home-like apartments that have access to a controlled entrance to our courtyard,” said Jansen. “Personal care services are individually tailored, and staff trained in dementia care are on-site 24 hours daily, helping residents participate in daily life. Meaningful, ability-centered activities encourage them to retain life skills longer and experience successes.”
Jansen likes to share a poem by Don Lonigro, titled 6 Facts About a Person With Dementia. It reminds readers, in part, that people with Alzheimer’s Disease can still smell flowers; bringing roses will help remind them of their past. They can still communicate, but friends and family must be patient so their loved one will feel connected to them. They can still make decisions, so they should be given choices. They can sing, so help them enjoy music to help enrich their life. Help them feel engaged by walking with them and supporting them as needed. Recognize what they can do and help them to function as a person. You are key to the quality of their life.
For more information, please contact:
110 N. 5th Avenue W
Newton, Iowa 50208