Brandon Baxter, the Aging and Adult Programs Manager for the Area Agency on Aging in Northern Arizona (NACOG), gave an excellent presentation on the mysteries of memory loss diseases on April 3, 2018 at our Senior Community Center. His informative talk brought comfort and understanding to some who attended. It is always comforting to know there is help and you are not alone when dealing with these aging issues that little is still known about. As Brandon told us, “The more medical researchers learn, the more they realize they are wrong”. He reminded us that society is aging at the fastest rate ever in the history of mankind! In fact, 10,000 people a day are turning 65 years of age calling it the Silver Aging Tsunami.
In his warm and friendly open discussion, he expressed how important it is to understand this disease and to reach out and use the many services available for us. The Older American Act Program provides many support systems for our needs and we have paid for these services.
Here is Dementia Friends Arizona’s explanation of what is Dementia:
Dementia is not a specific disease. It’s an overall term that describes a wide range of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia and accounts for 60 to 80 percent of cases.
10 Early Signs and Symptoms
- Memory loss that disrupts daily life.
- Challenges in planning or solving problems.
- Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure.
- Confusion with time or place.
- Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships.
- New problems with words in speaking or writing.
- Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps.
- Decreased or poor judgment.
- Withdrawal from work or social activities.
- Changes in mood and personality.
Brandon has a passion for his career in caregiving and accepts the most challenging cases. He is a young man with a wife and three young children. I would say he is blessed with a gift of serving. His words are uplifting as he brings knowledge and coping skills for those who are suddenly faced with caregiving of a loved one. It is so important to prepare yourself and know there is help out there. Nothing works if you are not functioning well yourself and it’s important to re-set your expectations of what brings you personal joy. With proper help one can get grounded and get centered and find that source of peace within you.
Here are some of Brandon’s tips on prevention and keeping ourselves healthy. Keeping the brain engaged with word games and brain teasers is helpful. Take Vitamin E, Coconut Oil, improving your nutrition, physical exercise, hydration and deep breathing were just some of the points he briefed us with.
You can become a Dementia Friend on line if interested in volunteering. There are people with dementia who need to be understood and supported in their communities so if you think that is of interest to you, contact Brandon by calling 928-213-5225 or email to email@example.com.
Get educated about Alzheimer’s disease/related dementias:
Desert Southwest Chapter
1-800-272-3900 (24-hour Helpline)
Get help for your loved one & you:
Area Agency on Aging