Workshop, clinic to provide information about memory loss, foot care for diabetics

Posted May 02, 2013, at 10:58 a.m.

Memory loss, diabetes screenings and emergency alert buttons sponsorships. Lots to talk about this week.

Early memory loss can be a nebulous yet terrifying thing. What is normal aging and what constitutes the beginnings of dementia?

Think about your life. Did you forget to pay a long-standing bill or are you having trouble managing the checkbook and budgeting? Did you get turned around and distracted in the grocery store or are you finding shopping to be overwhelming and the store difficult to maneuver, even though you have shopped there for years? Have you missed an appointment at work or are you struggling with successfully completing routine daily tasks?

See the difference? We all have problems occasionally with forgetfulness but when the memory lapse begins to interfere with normal living, it is time to take a hard look at the situation.

If you are starting to panic, don’t. There’s a pretty wide gap between early memory loss and early dementia and an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Not to mention that early dementia can be caused by any number of reasons that have nothing to do with Alzheimer’s disease.

Your first step should be getting as much information as possible. To that end, Eastern Area Agency on Aging, My Friend’s Place and Dementia Care Strategies will present “Losing your Memory? Now What? A Day of Information and Resources,” Wednesday, May 8,  for people experiencing early memory loss or early dementia. This free workshop can help reduce your fears by providing valuable insight and support.

The comprehensive workshop will take place 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. at My Friend’s Place Adult Day, First United Methodist Church, Bangor. It is for anyone experiencing early memory loss or has an early dementia diagnosis and caregivers.

There will be presentations and overviews of memory loss, dementia, “normal” forgetfulness, driving issues, adapting home environments, increasing home safety, tell tale signs to watch for, what changes to expect regarding memory loss and legal preparations to make. An occupational therapist will have tips and tricks to help you live with memory loss. For information or to register, call Eastern Area Agency on Aging at 941-2865.

For information on normal aging versus Alzheimer’s, go to alz.org for 10 Early Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s.

Now let’s go from your head down to your feet.

Diabetes is continuing its rise in the United States with more people than ever being diagnosed. Over time, high blood sugar levels can lead to diseases such as heart disease, kidney disease and blindness.

Additionally, about 50 percent of all diabetics will develop some type of foot complication such as loss of sensation, circulatory problems or sores that do not heal. According to professional.diabetes.org, “More than 60 percent of non-traumatic lower-limb amputations occur in people with diabetes.”

New England Home Health Care is concerned about these statistics so they are providing a free Diabetic Foot Screening Clinic 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Thursday, May 16, at Dirigo Pines Retirement Community in Orono.

“One of our nurses will test your blood glucose, blood pressure, inspect your feet and provide any foot care education you need,” said Nurse Kathy Frodahl, president and CEO of New England Home Health Care.

After the screening, a referral will be made to a podiatrist or your physician if necessary. Call 945-3374 for more information.

We checked out your health, now let’s save you some money. Jennifer Maskala, Rosscare LiveSAFE, wants everyone to have her emergency alert button, but realizes that for some the monthly service fee of $32 may be out of reach.

Rosscare has a solution. They are providing $10 monthly sponsorships reducing the subscriber fee to $22. Income guidelines are at or below $17,235 a year, for one person.

For information, call Rosscare LiveSAFE at 973-7094 or visit rosscare.org.

Carol Higgins Taylor is director of communications at Eastern Area Agency on Aging. For information on EAAA, call 941-2865 or go to eaaa.org.

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