June 07, 2020
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Recognizing Normal Aging

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Joanne Fortin | BDN
Joanne Fortin | BDN

Fort Kent ~ On September 21, the Northern Maine Medical Center (NMMC) Guild held their first business meeting of the year. As usual, Guild President, Joan Sylvain, welcomed the evening’s guest speaker. Crystal Hughes, Social Worker employed by NMMC, spoke on the topic of dementia.

In her presentation, Hughes defined the various types of dementia, with Alzheimer’s being the most common of the disorders. She explained how dementia differs from forgetfulness caused by normal changes of the aging process. Hughes said, “When you forget parts of an experience which you usually recall later, the symptom is attributable to the normal aging process.” In this example, she explained that a person with Alzheimer’s dementia would not recall any parts of the event or experience and would have forgotten that the entire experience ever happened. She further explained about instances such as forgetting where you parked the car or temporarily forgetting someone’s name are both examples of normal aging changes in the brain.
Patients with Alzheimer’s Dementia experience difficulty in completing familiar tasks and may be confused about time of day and place.

Since obtaining her degree in 2003 Hughes has gained an interest in dementia and has attended various trainings made possible through the Alzheimer’s Association. Hughes is one of the group facilitators of a monthly Alzheimer’s Dementia Support Group offered at Forest Hill. She is also the co-facilitator of the annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s. She is available for speaking engagements by calling 207-834-1834.

The Guild’s next meeting is scheduled for October 19 and the guest speaker will be Peter Sirois, NMMC CEO, who will provide an annual business update on the state of the hospital, a report about new providers and upcoming renovation projects. Guests are welcome to attend the evening’s program which begins at 6:30 pm and will be held in the NMMC Board Room.
To learn more about NMMC’s many services, to make a donation or to learn about volunteer opportunities, visit www.nmmc.org and Like us on Facebook!