Here’s to Your Health: Alzheimer’s Awareness

As part of the Here's to Your Health series, an Alzheimer's Awareness seminar will be presented at the Oak Park Arms retirement community. Patricia Dezynski, RN, MSN, a nurse from Interim HealthCare, will present a talk titled “Alzheimer’s Awareness” at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 11, at the Oak Park Arms retirement community, 408 S. Oak Park Ave. The seminar is part of the ongoing “Here’s To Your Health” monthly series.

Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States, and the only disease in the top 10 list that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed down. There are currently 5.4 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease. This progressive, degenerative disorder attacks the brain’s nerve cells resulting in loss of memory, thinking and language skills.

While scientists still don’t fully understand what causes Alzheimer’s disease, it is becoming increasingly clear that it develops as a result of a complex series of events that happen in the brain over an extended period of time. Research also indicates that it may be triggered by factors including age, genetic makeup, damage to neurons from overproduction of toxic free radicals, serious head injuries, brain inflammation and environmental factors.

Although it is the most common cause of dementia (loss of intellectual function) among people aged 65 and older, Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of aging. In addition, no one factor can be identified as the catalyst.

Typical warning signs include:
•    Memory loss, especially of recent events, names, placement of objects and other new information
•    Confusion about time and place
•    Struggling to complete familiar actions, such as brushing teeth or getting dressed
•    Trouble finding the appropriate words, completing sentences, and following directions and conversations
•    Poor judgment when making decisions
•    Changes in mood and personality, such as increased suspicion, rapid and persistent mood swings, withdrawal, and disinterest in usual activities
•    Difficultly with complex mental assignments, such as balancing a checkbook or other tasks involving numbers

Age is the most important known risk factor of the disease. In fact, the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease doubles every five years beyond the age of 65. While there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s, there are several approved medications which may provide relief from some symptoms and slow the decline in mental function to some extent

The Oak Park Arms is a rental retirement community which provides independent and assisted living apartments and a full schedule of activities and services. Furnished apartments are also available for a short-term stay – a weekend, a week, a month or longer.

The program is free and open to the public. For more information call Jill Wagner at 708-386-4040.


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