Page 35 - Healthcare News Senior Planning Guide 2022
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Listen for Clues in Conversations
Many parents will state they do not want to burden their busy adult children with a request for help. We often hear older adults describe feeling foolish for not being able to keep up with their home cleaning, medications, shopping, or repairs. Those subtle clues in your conversations may indicate the need for more in-home support.
Having the Talk
Finally, how do you convince your aging parent that they need help and that you, their family caregiver, cannot do it alone? I often say it’s all in ‘how your wrap the gift’ — in this case, the gift of help and support you want to offer your parents.
Begin with considering when the best time to talk
is. Everyone involved in the conversation should be rested, limit other distractions, and not be time- constrained. Ask open-ended questions for a two-way conversation with your parent’s input. Frame your questions in a non-threatening manner. For example, ‘Dad, is it sometimes hard to do the laundry with the washer in the basement?’ Or, ‘Mom, you seem to have a lot of unopened mail. Can I help open them for you to read?’
Be patient. You may have to rewrap the gift a few times. n
Brenda Labbe is Outreach director at Greater Springfield Senior Services Inc. For more than 50 years, GSSSI has shared local resources for advice, support, and care. Call weekdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., to speak with a community resource specialist.
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The Importance of Awareness
In 2022, the Alzheimer’s Assoc. reported there were 55 million people worldwide living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. According to these statistics, not only are 6 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s, but this number is projected to rise to nearly 13 million by 2050.
While Alzheimer’s disease is only one form of dementia, there are many variations of cognitive decline that fall under the dementia umbrella. Dementia is a broad term used to describe a loss of memory, intellect, rationality, social skills, and physical functioning. The NIA indicates that there are many types of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia, Lewy body disease, and others. Though dementia can happen to anybody, it is more common after age 65.
The Alzheimer’s Assoc. indicates that fewer than 20% of Americans are familiar with an early stage of Alzheimer’s called mild cognitive impairment (MCI), though almost one-third of people with MCI develop dementia within five years of their diagnosis. As a precursor to dementia, MCI is characterized by subtle changes in thinking and memory. Though MCI does not affect an individual’s ability to perform everyday activities of independent living, it can generally be seen by the person affected, as well as by family and friends.
Our Campus of Care
When faced with the reality of dementia, it can be daunting to figure out what to do next. After receiving a positive diagnosis, family and loved ones may fear they are incapable of handling the care their loved one needs by themselves. That’s why memory-care
communities like East Longmeadow Memory Care Assisted Living offer resident-focused care for those living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of memory loss and dementia — to help them experience the highest possible quality of life and discover new possibilities.
Even if an official dementia diagnosis has not been made, you may find your loved one could use the supportive care offered by an assisted-living setting. By joining a memory-care assisted-living community, individuals can rest assured that not only will their needs be taken care of, but the supportive setting can help stave off dementia symptoms and reduce risk
of disease progression. According to the Alzheimer’s Assoc., evidence shows that physical activity, eating healthy, staying mentally and socially active, and taking control of your health are all necessary factors in reducing your risk of dementia symptoms. The ability to address each of these needs can be found in the memory-care assisted-living setting, where support
is available for individuals in every stage of aging and cognitive health.
For more information or to schedule a personalized visit, call (413) 525-6363 or visit www. n
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       DAD IS
“While Alzheimer’s disease is only one form of dementia, there are many variations
of cognitive decline that fall under the dementia umbrella.”
New problems with words or speaking is a warning sign of Alzheimer’s. Learn more at
24/7 Helpline 800.272.3900

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