The Decker School of Nursing has a long-standing commitment to promoting the health of older residents. The array of clinical and educational services offered through the Elder Services Center such as the Carmella Mc Nulty Memory Clinic are meant to assist elders, their families and the community to sustain healthy functioning of our older population.
Mary is 72 years old, still driving and living alone. She receives a call from the bank that her account is overdrawn. She has been handling the family finances most of her life. She is very upset and confused about how this could happen.
Sam, age 69, has been searching for his car keys for hours. He always puts them on the table next to the door but today, they are not there. He is frustrated and scared.
While visiting from out of town to attend a family reunion, Ann notices that her mother, age 83, can't seem follow the conversations that are going on. During her visit she notices that her mother has asked her the same question three or four times. She also remembers her mother forgetting her daughter's birthday last month. She is concerned something may be wrong.
Harry, age 77, has been driving around for 45 minutes. He is becoming more and more frustrated because he cannot find the house that he has living in for over 40 years. He finally realizes where he is and proceeds to his home.
These stories are examples of some of the problems and concerns the Elder Services Center deals with everyday. Many older people worry about becoming more forgetful. Our brains change with age like the rest of our bodies. Our thinking may slow and we may occasionally forget things but serious memory problems and confusion are not part of normal aging, they may be symptoms of dementia or some other treatable condition. There are more than 70 diseases that can cause problems with memory function and there are many types of dementia. Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia. Behavioral changes and impairments in ability to carry out routine tasks of daily life often accompany memory loss. This is not a normal part of aging and any person who is concerned about their memory or who is experiencing symptoms deserves a comprehensive evaluation to rule out treatable causes.
The symptoms of early dementia are:
Care giving for a person with Alzheimer 's disease or another dementia can be very rewarding but it is a difficult task which can be overwhelming at times. Caregivers face new challenges frequently as they learn to cope with the changing abilities and behaviors of their loved one as the disease progresses. According to the Alzheimer's association, there are nearly 10 million Americans providing 8.4 billion hours of unpaid care to people with Alzheimer 's disease or other dementias. Seventy-percent of people with Alzheimer's live at home and are cared for by family and friends. A quarter-million American children 8 to 18 years old are providing care for a loved one with Alzheimer's or another form of dementia. There are between 1 and 1.4 million “long-distance caregivers” in the United States . About 1 million of these caregivers live more than two hours away from their loved ones.
At Elder Services we are proud to offer a home visit and clinic visit as part of the evaluation process. The Elder Services Center and the United Health Services geriatric fellowship program, which is a medical, physician education program to train geriatricians, have partnered to establish a multidisciplinary team with the expertise to provide a holistic clinical evaluation to diagnose memory disorders, evaluate for dementia and screen for depression. Our services are covered by Medicare with a referral from your primary care physician and include a complete history, assessment of functional and environmental status, mental status testing and case management.
For more information call 607-777-6636 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last Updated: 1/8/13