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Community Meeting to Address Alzheimer’s

June 20, 2017

     When a family learns that their loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, it often confirms their fears and explains their suspicions as they observed their loved one experience lapses in time or memory. But it also opens a whole new set of questions that can be very difficult to answer without proper support. That’s why Theresia Metz, administrator at The Living Center, wanted to bring the National Alzheimer’s Association to Marshall, following her own experience with the disease.

     The National Alzheimer’s Association will hold an organizational meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 12 in the classroom suite on the second floor of Fitzgibbon Hospital.  The free, informational meeting is open to the public, and refreshments will be provided.

     “My mother, grandmother and great grandfather had Alzheimer’s disease, and so when I came to Marshall three years ago, I knew first-hand the struggle that families go through. I saw that there really were no resources available to help answer those difficult questions, to educate caregivers and the public” said Metz.

     Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible degradation of the brain that slowly destroys the memory and reasoning ability. In its final stages, Alzheimer’s literally affects an individual’s ability to perform basic tasks. According to the National Institute on Aging, Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. But recent estimates indicate that the disorder may rank third, just behind heart disease and cancer, as a cause of death for older people.

     “There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but there are medications that help slow the progression of the disease,” said Metz.  The National Alzheimer’s Association will be able to provide us with good education and training so that families can now be engaged in the work that is going on out there to help us better understand this disease.”

     After Metz’ arrival at The Living Center three years ago, she brought the National Alzheimer’s Association in to the facility to provide education to staff in the memory care unit.  That education led to an Advanced Certification in Memory Care for The Living Center.  But Metz was careful to point out that the event on July 12 is for the whole community, not just The Living Center staff and families.

     “We really want to see our physicians turn out for this meeting, as well as families from Saline and surrounding counties.  There is not a National Alzheimer’s Association anywhere near our area, so it is important that people get involved,” said Metz.

     Though the meeting is free to attend, registration is requested. Please call (573) 443-8665 to indicate your interest in attending.