World Alzheimer’s Month is the perfect opportunity to raise awareness, come together and fight against this life-threatening disease.
Let’s challenge the stigma surrounding dementia and other memory disorders, educate members of our community of the signs and symptoms, and learn key lifestyle habits to keep our body and brain healthy – so one day we can forget Alzheimer’s.
Did you know Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare (TMH) is home to the region’s only Memory Disorder Clinic?
Funded through a grant from the State of Florida Department of Elder Affairs as a part of the state’s Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative Program, our team of neurologists, neuropsychologists and social workers provide comprehensive diagnostic evaluations and treatments for patients experiencing memory problems, including symptoms of Alzheimer’s:
- Increased forgetfulness
- Personality or behavioral changes
- Trouble with speech, reading or writing skills
- Difficulty completing daily activities
- Challenges in planning or problem-solving
- Confusion with time or place and
- Trouble understanding spatial relationships
"We are seeing more and more families that are coming in younger and younger, either themselves or families bring a loved one that they're concerned about and this isn't going to slow-down any time soon. In fact, the forecast is frightening."Vicky Rose, MSW, Memory Disorder Clinic Coordinator
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the state of Florida should expect a 28.6 percent increase in the number of those living with Alzheimer’s by 2025, bringing the number of those over the age of 65 with this disease to 720,000.
There is no cure and limited treatments for those living with Alzheimer’s disease. This makes early detection and possible prevention pertinent for positive patient outcomes.
Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that worsens over time. For patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, experts at the Memory Disorder Clinic will create an individualized care plan designed to help patients, along with their families, understand the disease by providing valuable services, including:
- Support groups
- Caregiver counseling
- Resolving family conflicts
- Ethics and care issues
- Coping therapies
While researchers search for advanced treatment options – and ultimately a cure – strong evidence currently suggests that people can reduce their risk of cognitive decline by making small lifestyle changes to maintain a healthy brain and possibly prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
“At the Tallahassee Memorial Memory Disorder Clinic, we recognize the importance of brain health, as it has a positive impact on slowing memory decline and disorders. We participate in community outreach opportunities, and share education about early detection and possible prevention, not only during World Alzheimer’s Month, but throughout the year.”Vicky Rose, MSW, Memory Disorder Clinic Coordinator
"Six Pillars of Brain Health"
When it comes to maintaining a healthy brain, Vicky often references the “Six Pillars of Brain Health” published by the Cleveland Clinic. These six pillars include traditional and non-traditional ideas to facilitate a healthy lifestyle:
- Healthy diet
- Physical exercise
- Adequate sleep
- Controlling medical risks
- Mental fitness
- Social interaction
While the first three pillars are traditional steps to take for a healthy brain, the other pillars are not as traditional – but just as important. Controlling medical risks such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity and depression all can affect brain health. When the body is not well, memory and the brain will be impacted too. Mental fitness activities such painting classes, electronic brain games or crosswords stimulate the brain and are as beneficial as physical exercise. Finally, social interaction helps protect the brain and fight against memory loss. Participating in group-activities and being engaged in conversations with friends and family are great ways to stay socially connected with others.
“Our Memory Disorder Clinic is based in Tallahassee, but our services span the entire state. If you or a loved one is concerned about a memory disorder, including Alzheimer’s disease, give us a call. And when you have a difficult moment or you just need a helpful resource, we're here for you. For twenty-four-hour support, you can call the Alzheimer’s Association’s free hotline at 800-272-3900.”Vicky Rose, MSW, Memory Disorder Clinic Coordinator
Do you want to help support our vision for a world without Alzheimer’s?
Join our community in a display of strength at the 2019 Tallahassee Walk to End Alzheimer’s.
Saturday, October 12
Cascades Park (1001 South Gadsden Street)
To register for the 2019 Tallahassee Walk to End Alzheimer’s, please visit ALZ.ORG/Walk.
For more information about Alzheimer’s disease, please call the Tallahassee Memorial Memory Disorder Clinic at 431-5002 or visit our website.