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The Bakersfield Californian Sunday, December 2, 2012

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H E A L T H

Alzheimer’s Association shares signs, tips for the holiday season may start to remove themselves from hobbies, social activities, work projects or sports. They may have trouble keeping up with a favorite sports team or remembering how to complete a favorite hobby. They may also avoid being social because of the changes they have experienced. What’s typical: Sometimes feeling weary of work, family and social obligations. 10. Changes in mood and personality. The mood and personalities of people with Alzheimer’s can change. They can become confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful or anxious. They may be easily upset at home, at work, with friends or in places where they are out of their comfort zone. What’s typical: Developing very specific ways of doing things and becoming irritable when a routine is disrupted.

BY BARBARA LANZ-MATEO Community contributor

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n addition to a new dessert recipe or family vacation photos, bring an important gift home this holiday season and become educated about the warning signs of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer's, the most common form of dementia, is a condition that robs people of their memory and thinking skills, and is ultimately fatal. Visiting with relatives over the holidays may raise questions about the physical and cognitive health of family members. Perhaps you noted some changes in one of your loved ones at Thanksgiving. Although some change in cognitive ability can occur with age, serious memory problems are not a part of normal aging. Recognizing the difference between normal aging and more serious problems can help you identify when it may be time for your relative to see a doctor. The Alzheimer’s Association has seen a rise in calls to its 24-hour helpline during and after the holiday season, when people return home and visit with friends and family whom they may not see as frequently during the year. The Alzheimer’s Association encourages anyone to call the helpline for any questions about the state of an aging family member or friend. “Ignoring the signs of cognitive impairment today because of fear or denial can lead to great sorrow tomorrow,” said Rhonda Spiegel, executive director for the Alzheimer’s Association California Central Chapter. “Helping someone to get help sooner rather than later is a loving thing to do.” Every individual may experience one or more of the 10 warning signs in varying degrees. If you notice any of them, please see a doctor.

10 warning signs of Alzheimer’s: 1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life. One of the most common signs of Alzheimer's is memory loss, especially forgetting recently learned information. Other memory loss signs include forgetting important dates or events; asking for the same information over and over; relying on memory aides — reminder notes, electronic devices or family members — for things they used to handle independently. What’s typical: Sometimes forgetting names or appointments, but remembering them later. 2. Challenges in planning or solving problems. Some people may experience changes in their ability to develop and follow a plan, or work with num-

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■■■ PHOTOS PROVIDED

Kate Eucce is the chief executive officer of the Alzheimer’s Disease Association of Kern County Inc. She can be reached through the association’s website at www.adakc.org.

bers. They may have trouble following a familiar recipe or keeping track of monthly bills. They may have difficulty concentrating, and take much longer to do things than they did before. What's typical: Making occasional errors when balancing a checkbook. 3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure. People with Alzheimer’s often find it hard to complete daily tasks. Sometimes, people may have trouble driving to a familiar location, managing a budget at work or remembering the rules of a favorite game. What’s typical: Occasionally needing help to use the settings on a microwave or to record a television show. 4. Confusion with time or place: People with Alzheimer’s can lose track of dates, seasons and the passage of time. They may have trouble understanding something if it is not happening immediately. Sometimes they may forget where they are or how they got there. What’s typical: Getting confused about the day of the week but figuring it out later. 5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships. For some people, having vision problems is a sign of Alzheimer’s. They may have difficulty reading, judging distance and determining color or contrast. In terms of perception, they may pass a mirror and think someone else is in the room. They may not realize they are the person in the mirror.

What's typical: Vision changes related to cataracts. 6. New problems with words, in speaking or writing. People with Alzheimer’s may have trouble following or joining a conversation. They may stop in the middle of a conversation and have no idea how to continue or they may repeat themselves. They may struggle with vocabulary, have problems finding the right word or call things by the wrong name, such as calling a watch a “hand-clock”. What's typical: Sometimes having trouble finding the right word. 7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps. A person with Alzheimer's disease may put things in unusual places. They may lose things and be unable to go back over their steps to find them again. Sometimes, they may accuse others of stealing. This may occur more frequently over time. What's typical: Misplacing things from time to time, such as a pair of glasses or the remote control. 8. Decreased or poor judgment. People with Alzheimer's may experience changes in judgment or decision-making. For example, they may use poor judgment when dealing with money, giving large amounts to telemarketers. They may pay less attention to grooming or keeping themselves clean. What’s typical: Making a bad decision once in a while. 9. Withdrawal from work or social activities. A person with Alzheimer’s

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V O I C E

Teddy bear donations give smiles to hospitalized kids BY MEGAN TACKITT Community contributor

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he Give Love, Get Joy Foundation will be collecting new teddy bears to donate to the Children's Medical Center at Bakersfield Memorial Hospital. Your donation will welcome children who are hospitalized with a friendly face. Give Love, Get Joy Foundation is known for collecting prom dresses to give to girls in Kern County who otherwise would not be able to attend their prom without one. It was founded by young sisters Alyson Joy and Ashley Love Tackitt of Bakersfield. Throughout the years, they have spent their time providing toiletries to the men’s shelter, and collecting backpacks and school supplies for children in their community. They also collect toys to give to local children during the holiday season. Recently, Ashley Joy was rushed to Memorial Hospital for an emergency appendectomy. Though her stay was short, she was able to see the daily hospital experience for many children. This inspired the Give Love, Get Joy Foundation to give back to the children’s hospital. When Ashley was being released from Memorial, she was allowed to pick out a toy to take home. She was happy

Early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, or other dementias, is an important step in getting appropriate treatment, care and support services. Following are additional benefits to receiving an early diagnosis:

Benefits of an early diagnosis: 1. Benefit from treatments that may improve symptoms and help maintain a level of independence longer. 2. Have more time to plan for the future. 3. Participate in decisions about their care, transportation, living options, financial and legal matters. 4. Develop a relationship with doctors and care partners. 5. Benefit from care and support services, making it easier for them and their family to manage the disease. Anyone with questions about Alzheimer’s disease or is seeking information should contact the Alzheimer’s Association’s 24-hour helpline at 800-272-3900. Experts are available to take calls from people concerned with their own cognitive health, as well as from family members and friends who may be concerned about a loved ones.

Alzheimer’s Association The Alzheimer’s Association is the world’s leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Its mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research, to provide and enhance care and support for all affected, and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Information: alz.org.

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Hundreds gathered to honor and remember veterans at Hillcrest Memorial Park and Mortuary in Bakersfield on Memorial Day this year. CALIFORNIAN FILE

Hillcrest’s ‘service of remembrance’ honors loved ones during holidays BY PHYLLIS GRABOT Community contributor

PHOTO BY MADE U LOOK PHOTOGRAPHY

Give Love, Get Joy Foundation is collecting teddy bears to donate to the Children’s Medical Center at Bakersfield Memorial Hospital. It was founded by sisters Alyson Joy and Ashley Love Tackitt, pictured here.

to see there were teddy bears to choose from. This is what gave her the idea, but instead of letting the child choose when being released, she liked the idea of having the bear waiting on the hospital bed upon arrival. That way when children enter a scary hospital room, they have a friendly face waiting for them. The Give Love, Get Joy Foundation hopes to give these children the comfort they need during times they not fully understand. The Noriega House has also announced that all proceeds

from this year’s holiday lunches will be donated to the Give Love, Get Joy Foundation. For more information on how to make a donation, or to bring by new teddy bears, contact the Noriega House at 6339016, or go to noriegahouse.com. If you would like to make a donation, you can drop off new teddy bears at the Noriega House, 1325 Baker St. The foundation is accepting donations and new teddy bears from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday throughout the month of December.

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onoring its commitment to provide extended services for the families it serves and the community, Hillcrest Memorial Park and Mortuary will host its annual non-denominational “service of remembrance” at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 13 in its chapel, 9101 Kern Canyon Road. The public is welcome to attend and participate. “It’s that time of year when we reminisce about the joy of past holidays shared with family and friends,” said Fidel Franco, general manager of Hillcrest Memorial Park and Mortuary, a local Dignity Memorial provider. “For those who have lost a loved one, however, the holiday season can be an especially difficult time of year. At Hillcrest, our ‘service of remem-

brance’ has become a tradition that many in our community turn to for comfort and support.” The program will offer a time to gather together in remembrance of those we have lost. It is a time to reflect and honor them in a special way. Hillcrest Memorial will provide a time for the public to bring in a photo, a special note or a letter to place in an ornament and hang on our ‘remembrance tree.’ The mortuary will be showing the slideshow again this year. Please email or bring in your photo by Dec. 7 to be included, and it will be played at the service. Send to Michelle.Arnold@DignityMemorial.com. This service is offered at no charge to the community and guests. For more information, call 366-5766..


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Sunday, December 2, 2012 The Bakersfield Californian

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The Bakersfield Californian Sunday, December 2, 2012


The Bakersfield Voice 12/02/12