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Culpeper Times • April 27-May 3, 2017

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VIEWS

A positive approach to caring for someone with memory loss Caring for someone with memory loss can present a variety of challenges. Challenges are experienced by the person living with memory loss and by the caregiver. Stress, fatigue, anxiety, frustration and depression are just a few challenges that may arise when caring for someone with memory loss. A common type of memory loss is dementia. Dementia is not a normal part of aging. However, more and more people are being diagnosed with this disease earlier and earlier in life. With an increase in dementia diagnosis, communities are eager for information on how to cope with the challenges associated with one of the disease’s symptoms, memory loss. Independence is fostered from an early development age. As children, parents teach their children to be independent and to complete tasks on their own such as walking, talking, dressing, bathing and eating. The ability to execute these tasks from start to finish is through growth and development of the brain. The brain promotes short term and long term memory along with a variety of other functions such as language and rhythm. Dementia can

AGEWISE

Diana Bright

be referred to as “brain shrinkage.” As dementia progresses, the brain shrinks causing individuals to experience memory loss, loss of language and abilities to complete simple day to day tasks. Memory loss leads to decreased abilities to communicate. People living with memory loss need care partners to be able to anticipate what they want, need and think. This can be challenging as the old saying goes “we aren’t mind readers.” When dealing with memory loss, it is important that the care partner learn to pick up on what the person shows you, how they sound and their physical reactions. Learning better observational skills will help caregivers to recognize and intervene when changes in behavior happen. Approach, cueing and the ability to connect with individuals living with memory loss will play a major role in creating a positive approach for everyone involved. Notice the partner in care piece. All too often when providing care to someone, it comes natural ‘to do to’ instead of ‘to do with.’ It is important to think of caregiving as a partnership and relationship. Relationships and partnerships foster trust. It is also important to understand how humans take in and process data. The human brain takes in data five ways. Sight, sound, touch, smell and taste. When interacting with someone with memory loss, it is important to make a visual and verbal connection before touching.

Touching before making the visual verbal connection can lead to a negative reaction. This negative reaction can be caused by igniting the individuals fight or flight reaction. If you’re interested in learning more tips on positive approaches, join local experts to develop the knowledge and skills needed to make a positive difference in the lives of individuals experiencing memory loss. An all-day conference will be held Tuesday, May 9, at Daniel Technology Center in Culpeper. Speakers include Dr. Roddy Kibler, licensed mental health professional and known for his innovative approaches to dementia care; Diana Bright, certified dementia practitioner and recent graduate of Teepa Snow’s Positive Approach to Care training. Registration for the workshop is $25 which includes breakfast and lunch. Vendors will be displaying materials and resources. CEUs are available through Germanna’s Workforce Center. More information and online registration can be accessed via http:// tinyurl.com/MemoryCare2017 or by calling Kathi Walker, 540-825-3100 x. 3416. Family and professional caregivers are welcome. Diana Bright,MS,LNHA is Virginia Director of Operations at Raydian Properties, Empowering Joyful Elder Living. You can reach her at 551-500-7240 or via email at dbright@raydianproperties.com

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Help support the Battleship Texas Foundation Editor's note: Howard Mills, a World War II veteran from Culpeper served on the Battleship Texas. He has asked that we share this letter and information about the foundation and hope you will donate to remember those who served in World War II. Today when a young man turns 18, his birthday is usually one of joy and celebration with family and friends. When Howard Money Mill turned 18 in June of 1943, he was drafted into the service and appointed to the Navy. In August, he was given 14 weeks of basic training and then sailed from Pier 51 in NYC aboard the USS Texas. Like many of his shipmates, he was just a teenager full of excitement and fear going into the unknown perils of war. The USS Texas would be Howard's home for the next three years. He was assigned to the deck division on the starboard side of the ship. There were no bunk beds available at the time

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so Howard slept in a hammock for three months. His letters to family were censored. We can only imagine the challenges of living and working with about 3,300 other young fellows under the age of 21. Howard's 19th birthday, June 6, 1944 D-Day, began in the heat of the battle. The USS Texas moved constantly, shelling bunkers on the beach and was then asked to take out a church steeple where Germans were sniping troops on the beach. The ship's gun range came up short, so the captain flooded the bow to raise the aft guns out of the water ... mission accomplished! Afterward the Texas and her men

stayed in Normandy for 52 difficult days, continuing to fight while picking up wounded rangers and German prisoners of war. This is just one part of the history of the USS Texas and sailors like Howard. They would go to the Pacific Theatre to take on another enemy in Okinawa. It was a long, hard three years for Howard and his shipmates. Help us honor their service and preserve the history of the Battleship Texas with your contribution today. Thank you. Bruce Bramlett Executive Director Battleship Texas Foundation

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April 27th, 2017 -- Culpeper Times  

April 27th, 2017 -- Culpeper Times