Before looking into Alzheimer’s,  let’s remind ourselves of some upcoming free events:

May 13 and May 16 — At the Peninsula Senior Center,       12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. Medication Solutions. Contact Dorothy Tenney at 665-3999.

May 23 and May 24 — At Ocean Beach Hospital, 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. — Medication Solutions. Contact Denise Ross at 642-6308.

May 27 — Annual Information & Assistance Fair/Staying Independent outreach in Raymond at the Grays Harbor College campus, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Lots of folks to talk to, and a free lunch. Contact Paulette Dodgen at 800-861-0060.

(Free is almost always good!)

 

Alzheimer’s. The word itself brings lots of reactions, not the least of which is probably fear. The idea of being here but not here is at best, worrisome. And as noted last time, it’s much more than simply forgetting things; it’s a fatal disease process.

We all know’ things about Alzheimer’s, but there are almost as many myths about it as true information. I remember years ago, some research supposedly indicated that aluminum was a leading contributing factor, and it had a lot of folks wondering about their pots, pans, and anything else that had aluminum in it. This is only one instance of knowledge being untrue. As someone said somewhere: Not everything I think is true.

Another myth is that it’s all a part of getting older. Not so. Without being too repetitive, it’s a disease, not necessarily a life-stage. And while indications are that the occurrence of Alzheimer’s dramatically increases after age 85, there are currently more than 200,000 folks with Alzheimer’s that are under 65. Are you listening, Boomers?

As mentioned earlier, it’s a fatal disease, without a cure or preventative measures, although researchers feel like they may be closing in on some possible contributing factors. The mantra of “Dad’s getting old and forgetful.” and humoring him isn’t going to cut it, especially when Dad can be expected to live quite a few years beyond the initial onset of Alzheimer’s.

Our tendency to smile condescendingly will not fly with Dad. He may be beginning to experience confusion and frustration, but he’s very aware he’s not 4 years old. Be sure to check out the Alzheimer’s website at www.alz.org

From the 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s, to Living With Alzheimer’s, the links are many and informative. 

But be cautious, please — because we can all relate to something close to what these signs may indicate.

Many years ago in a psychology class, we broached an introduction to abnormal psychology. In the study of a particular disorder, I was pretty sure I had found myself. The indicators sounded a lot like my life. Fortunately, we had some guidance and forewarning, so were able to get through it. It’s the same here.

We all may forget why we went into the kitchen, only to recall when we return to the living room. We’ve all smiled and nodded while someone we know is chatting with us — and we’re trying frantically to remember their name. Some of us have even been in the middle of an explanation or story, only to realize we may be getting lost ourselves.

A lot of it has to do with the recall and the re-grouping. This becomes lost in the world of Alzheimer’s, and as we’ll see, that particular land can be an unwanted adventure for those experiencing it — and for those trying to help.

Stay tuned …

 

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