“I’m concerned about my mother’s memory. She may be showing signs of dementia.”
Memory loss and dementia may be the most difficult aspects of aging, for both the affected person and the family. Though everyday memory lapses are a common part of getting older, serious memory loss can disrupt daily life and pose a safety risk. That’s why—during November, National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month—we’re joining in the nationwide effort to expand the public’s knowledge about Alzheimer’s disease.
The Alzheimer’s Association defines dementia as “a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life.” In addition to memory, impairment might also affect communication and language, ability to focus and pay attention, reasoning and judgment, and visual perception.
In a 2014 New York Times column, “The New Old Age,” Ronald C. Petersen, M.D., director of the Mayo Clinic’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, said that in diagnosing memory loss, age is a key factor. Whereas a senior’s noticeable memory loss, particularly if gradual, most likely indicates dementia, a memory problem in middle age might well have another cause. Most times, an abrupt change in mental condition signifies some other underlying reason.
A diagnosis for memory loss should be determined by a physician, one who is knowledgeable about dementia and can assess for Alzheimer’s disease or memory loss due to another source. Progressive dementias, like Alzheimer’s disease, have no cure, but their symptoms can be alleviated with medication.
Ecumenical Retirement Community residents with any form of dementia and living with memory loss can live fulfilling, productive lives. With our memory support services, we enhance the quality of senior living with personalized therapy for those in need of Alzheimer’s care. Our customized memory care programs, conducted by trained caregivers, are designed to adapt and change with the needs of the resident.
In addition, our Journeys of Faith and Spirit program (for all faiths and beliefs) helps those with dementia reconnect with their spiritual journey while residing in our retirement home. The program, developed by Ecumenical and its affiliate, Country Meadow Retirement Communities, was awarded a Best of the Best Award by the Assisted Living Federation of America. The program has helped participants connect more with others in the senior living community and share their spiritual memories and feelings.
At Ecumenical, we give focused attention to the family’s needs as well. Partnering with the Alzheimer’s Association, we host an on-campus, public Memory Support Group that offers caregiving advice and education through speakers and group discussion. Our support group meets the last Wednesday of every month at 7:00 p.m., and you are welcome to call (717) 561-9982 for more information. We also have information on resources for families who are coping with helping loved ones with dementia.
If you’re looking for memory support services at a personal care home or an independent living senior community in central Pennsylvania, we hope that you’ll contact us to learn all that you can about Ecumenical Retirement Community in Harrisburg.
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