Story provided by Stillwater Medical Center
Dementia is now one of the leading killers in the United States, with the rate of deaths linked to the disease more than doubling over the past two decades.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Overall, age-adjusted death rates for dementia increased from 30.5 deaths per 100,000 in 2000 to 66.7 in 2017. In sheer numbers, dementia was noted as the primary cause for nearly 262,000 deaths in 2017, with 46 percent of those deaths due to Alzheimer’s disease.
America’s aging population is likely fueling this increase in dementia-related deaths. Older people now make up a larger majority of the population than ever before.
Dementia is a condition that impairs a person’s ability to think, concentrate, and remember (cognitive function) that it progressively gets worse. It usually involves memory impairment early on. Over time, people will need help with daily activities because they lose the ability to dress, bathe, and feed themselves.
The role of Alzheimer caregivers can be stressful, frightening, and exhausting. But you can also feel great comfort in caring for a loved one who needs you.
To help family members and friends dealing with a loved one who may have been diagnosed or is showing early signs of dementia, Stillwater Medical Center will be hosting a Dementia Community Outreach Event on Tues., Nov. 19, 2019, from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., at the Stillwater Community Center.
“The idea for the event originated from a Stillwater Medical Center Dementia Patient Care Improvement Team,” said Leva Swim, Stillwater Medical’s Vice President. “This team has identified and worked on several initiatives to improve the care of dementia patients, their families, and their caregivers. “
The goal of the Dementia Community Outreach Event initiative is to bring together the various community resources that support the care of dementia patients. The event will have several opportunities for attendees to learn about various topics, including:
- Presentations by the Alzheimer’s Association and Dr. John Wedlake, Neurologist
- Break-Out Sessions on Various Topics (e.g., Nutrition, Aging in Place, Silver Alert Emergency Kit, Tobacco Cessation)
- One-On-One with Stillwater Medical Physicians Clinic RN Care Managers to share information and answer questions from attendees
- Tables representing various community resources (e.g., Local Pharmacies, Department of Public Safety, Legal Aide, Turning Point Ranch, Home Health Agencies, Karman Legacy Hospice, Veterans Association, Life Center Adult Day Care)
If you want to learn about the services available in the community and have an opportunity to ask questions, you should attend this event! You may not need to access these services now, but you may in the future.
November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month and the Dementia Community Outreach Event is one of three community events scheduled. Other events are: (1) First Friday Presentation by the Alzheimer’s Association to be held on Nov. 1, 2019, at noon at the Stillwater Public Library and (2) the first Stillwater Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Nov. 9, 2019, on the OSU campus, starting at 8:30 a.m. (Party) and 10:00 a.m. (Actual Walk begins).