Walk to End Alzheimer’s Disease

Guest Column
By: 
Leann Herman
Monticello Nursing & Rehab Campus

     Many of us worry when we forget someone’s name, can’t come up with a word or can’t find the car keys, that we are developing Alzheimer’s. We might joke that our “dementia is kicking in.” Alzheimer’s Disease is more than being somewhat forgetful at times. It is a form of dementia that causes significant problems with memory, thinking, behavior, and interferes with our daily life.

     In its early stage, memory loss is mild and may not even be noticed. However, as the disease progresses, individuals lose the ability to have a conversation, may forget where they are or how they got there, have difficulty reading, or may forget how to drive to a familiar place.

     It is important for all of us to know the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease, as well as the risk factors. While risk factors such as age, family history and heredity cannot be changed, research indicates there are some factors we may be able to impact. For example, some research shows a link between Alzheimer’s and head injury. Wearing your seatbelt, your bike helmet, and fall-proofing your home may prevent these types of injuries.

     There is also a heart health and brain health connection. Because the heart is responsible for pumping blood through the vessels and to the brain, it’s very important to have a good, strong heart to nourish the brain. Stay physically active, eat a balanced diet low in sugar, get enough sleep, follow your doctor’s orders/stand appointments, and maintain your social relationships. Contact your doctor if you are experiencing memory issues and discuss your concerns with your loved ones. There is no cure, but there are treatment interventions and medications available to help with memory loss, behavioral changes, and sleep issues.

     You can also join in the effort to end Alzheimer’s Disease. The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s is scheduled in our areas Saturday, Sept. 30, at McGrath Amphitheater in Cedar Rapids. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m., with the opening ceremony at 9:30 a.m., followed by the walk. The Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support, and research.

     At Monticello Nursing and Rehab, we are busy raising money and awareness and we will be walking the day of the event. We understand firsthand the heartbreaking effects Alzheimer’s Disease has on individuals, their families, caretakers, and all who love them.

     For more information on Alzheimer’s Disease and how you can help, call Leann at Monticello Nursing and Rehab at 319-465-5415. To make a donation online, go to ALZ.org/walk and follow the prompts. Together we can make a difference.

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