Hello 4 South,
This past Tuesday our campus hosted a dementia awareness event. This event was put on by three of our very own Pioneer ladies. They set this event up to help our community be more aware of what dementia truly is, what we can do to recognize the signs, and how Wisconsin is here to help those with Dementia, including their loved ones. We were delighted to have the company of two speakers during this event. The first speaker was Whitney Thompson, MPH, CHES. Whitney is from the Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC). This center was created to help communities become better capable with helping those with Dementia, and to help their care givers as well. Whitney spoke about the statistics of Wisconsin, and that there are currently over 115,000 residents with Dementia. Whitney then explain that Dementia is not a specific term. She explained that using the term “Dementia” is like using the term “Cancer”. Dementia is a broad term and like cancer there are specific types of dementia, with the most widely known as Alzheimer’s.
Dementia is caused by physical damage to the brain. a brain with dementia is visually smaller than a brain that is healthy. Therefore this physical damage causes the brain not function normally. Some of the most symptoms will effect these areas; Memory, Communication and Language, Focus and Attention Span, Reasoning and Judgment, or Visual Perception.
The second speaker was named Kent. He was a school teacher for 36 years and his wife has been diagnosed with having a type of dementia. She was only 62 years old when she was diagnosed. Kent spoke about the adaptations he has made to be able to help his wife live the best life possible, along with how to deal with the difficult times. Kent told us how supportive the ADRC is and how if we ever have loved ones who are diagnosed with a form of dementia that we shouldn’t wait to talk with the center. Kent also spoke about other groups in the area who are here to help.
I have a copy of the pamphlet in my room, so if any of you would like to have a copy I will be sure to get you one, so that you can find the help that is available to all.