Every November since President Ronald Reagan’s letter to the country revealing his own dementia diagnosis in 1983, Americans celebrate November as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. November is an opportunity for people to honor the progress made toward understanding and treating the disease while raising money for research and care. It also recognizes caregivers, family, clinicians, and the more than 6 million patients living with Alzheimer’s. Here are ways to celebrate with Alzheimer’s of Central Alabama:
Walking to Remember: ACA’s Annual Walk, Saturday, November 6, 10 am, 300 Office Park Drive. Hot dogs, Steel City Pops, fun and entertainment. Walkers raising a minimum of $50 receive a Walk t-shirt. All the Money raised stays in Alabama to support Alabama families! https://alzca.org/walking/
Annual Day of Prayer, Sunday November 14. The Prayer is located here. Please consider making this prayer a part of your worship activities the weekend of November 14.
ACA’s Annual Meeting and Candlelight Service, Thursday, November 18, 9 am, Vestavia Hills Library in the Forest, 1221 Montgomery Highway. Join ACA’s Board of Directors for our annual meeting followed by the Candle Lighting Service that offers a moment of contemplation for all who are living with Alzheimer’s.
Lunch & Learn, Monday, November 8, Founders Place and St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 10:30 – noon, 3736 Montrose Road, Birmingham. Dementia advocates and authors Don Wendorf and Lynda Everman will present their view of advocacy as being the voice for both persons living with dementia and caregivers using humor and heart, memories and music. Lunch is provided, reservations are required. Contact Rhett Thagard firstname.lastname@example.org or 205.902.5700 by 9:00am by 11/5/21.
Join award-winning journalists Maria Shriver & Natalie Morales for the WAM Summit on the Power of Research, November 18, 1-2 CT. thewomensalzheimersmovement.org
AFTD Webinar will describe physical therapy (PT) and its role in managing FTD movement symptoms and decreasing falls, Thursday, November 18, 11 am, Registration (gotowebinar.com)
Alzheimer’s Care Conference sponsored by the Alabama chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, November 17 and 18, 9:00-11:00 CT.
In-person and zoom Support Groups:
- ACA’s Coffee Talk with Miller & Vance, Tuesday, November 9, 11 – noon CT. Call (205) 871-7970 or email@example.com. Join us on zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86450491838
- CJFS CARES, Mondays at 3 pm, contact Pam Leonard, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Founders Place at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Tuesday’s at 10 am, contact Susan Logan, email@example.com
- Pell City, (in person)-1st Tuesday of each month, 11:00 am, Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church, Parish Hall, Cropwell. Contact Bit Thomaston, Ethomaston50@gmail.com
- West Alabama Area Agency on Aging, Caregiver Support Group, Tuesdays, contact Nikki Poe, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Oaks on Parkwood, 4th Tuesday’s, 10:00 am, Contact: Karen Glover, email@example.com.
- CJFS CARES, Tuesdays, 7:00 pm, contact Pam Leonard, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Leeds, (in person) 2nd Thursday of each month, 6:30 pm, St. Teresa of the Child Jesus Catholic Church, contact Bit Thomaston, email@example.com
- United Way Area Agency on Aging of Jefferson County, 3rd Tuesday of each month 11:30-12:30, contact Valarie Lawson, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Asbury United Methodist Church 1st and 3rd Thursdays at 1:00, contact Maggie Dunaway at email@example.com.
- Alzheimer’s News:
Being Patient spoke with Patti Davis, daughter of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan, about the memories she shared with her father and how his Alzheimer’s diagnosis gave her the chance to make a needed change in her own life. Looking back on her late father Ronald Reagan’s decade-long journey with Alzheimer’s, Davis thinks of the small but precious moments they shared. In her book, Floating in the Deep End: How Caregivers Can See Beyond Alzheimer’s, she writes: “I had to remind myself again and again that there are many colors on the palette of Alzheimer’s — some dark, some bright. I owed it to myself, and I owed it to my father, to embrace all of them. Gratitude was one of the brightest colors, and it has followed me through the years, anchoring my memories and reminding me that as complicated as life can be, it can also be as simple as a shiny afternoon after the rain has passed and it feels like God is smiling.” Q&A: Ronald Reagan’s Daughter on Her Father’s Alzheimer’s and Her Own Journey – Being Patient
As the United States Congress continues to refine the Build Back Better plan, UsAgainstAlzheimers and many leading organizations representing the aging and caregiving communities issued the following statement:
We applaud the inclusion of paid family and medical leave in the House’s Build Back Better Plan, and we urge Congressional leaders to continue working together to ensure this policy is passed into law. Paid leave can support working families, grow the economy and protect our nation’s public health.
We were appalled when paid family and medical leave for working families was not included in the framework released last week, dealing a devastating blow to our nation’s 53 million family caregivers who find themselves in the difficult situation of having to choose between work and care for a loved one living with a serious medical condition or disability.
The economic and societal benefits of paid leave are clear. Nearly two in ten employed family caregivers have quit their job and more than four in ten have said they had to go part-time to care for their loved one and nearly half (44%) have had to go part-time because of caregiving responsibilities. Annually, the economy loses more than $20 billion when Americans—primarily women—are forced to choose between their economic wellbeing and caring for a loved one.
When we think about the benefits of exercise, we usually think of better sleep, more energy, maintaining a healthy weight, stronger muscles or a healthier heart. A neuroscientist shares additional benefits of exercise: it improves focus and concentration; it decreases feeling of anxiety; it promotes the growth of new brain cells; it protects your brain from aging and neurodegeneration. A neuroscientist shares the 4 brain-changing benefits of exercise—and how much she does every week (cnbc.com)
Alopecia areata (AA), an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss, including baldness, has been linked to a threefold higher risk of developing any form of dementia and a fourfold higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. AA shares a similar inflammatory signature with dementia and has great psychological impacts that leads to poor social engagement. Alopecia Tied to a Threefold Increased Risk for Dementia (medscape.com)
A new study led by researchers at UCLA Health has found that women over the age of 50 who had breastfed their babies performed better on cognitive tests compared to women who had never breastfed. The finding suggest that breastfeeding may have a positive impact on postmenopausal women’s cognitive performance and could have long-term benefits for the mother’s brain. New study suggests that breastfeeding may help prevent cognitive decline | UCLA Health
Suffering from brain fog? The medications you take may be the culprit. People should examine any new medication or changes in dosage if they suddenly have problems with memory and thinking. Stuck in a brain fog? Look in your medicine cabinet – Harvard Health
A new study found that 24 percent of participants who recovered from COVID-19 had difficulty with memory encoding, 23 percent had a hard time with memory recall, and 18 percent developed difficulties with processing information. Patients who were hospitalized with COVID-19 or treated in an emergency room were more likely to develop cognitive effects compared to people diagnosed with COVID-19 who were treated in an outpatient setting. Those who were hospitalized were 2.8 times more likely to experience difficulty paying attention compared to outpatients. The researchers also noted that previous research found older adults are more susceptible to cognitive impairment after being critically ill with COVID-19. Almost 1 in 4 People with COVID-19 Have Cognitive Effects Later (healthline.com)
Partners and running enthusiasts, Catherine Elizabeth Popp and Anthony Copeland-Parker found ways to cope with her early-onset Alzheimer’s diagnosis. The duo has traveled to 82 countries and run marathons on all seven continents. He writes, “the disease is a challenge enough, but if you look outside of it, there are going to be many, many good years that you two can do things together. As opposed to it being a death sentence, it’s a life lesson.” Read the interview: This Globetrotting Couple Is Navigating Alzheimer’s—While Running Marathons Around the World – Being Patient
2 blogs from local experts you should check out:
- Why People with Dementia Refuse Help–Part 1 (makedementiayourbitch.com)
- Caregiver vs Care Partner – Renee Harmon
Great Holiday gift giving guides for seniors from DailyCaring: