Why I Walk – Ryan Redd

RyanRedd

My name is Ryan and I walk in memory of my great-aunt Eva and to find a cure for her sister, my great-aunt Bea (Beatrice).

I remember growing up and going to visit Aunt Eva; she knew her way around the kitchen and made the best brownies and always set aside a tin just for me, no nuts if you please.

At the time of her diagnosis, my family was unaware of the support and resources provided by the Alzheimer’s Association.

Since joining my local chapter as a volunteer, I’ve made it my mission to share my experiences and involvement with the chapter in an effort to help others; it seems as though everywhere I go, I meet someone who has been touched by this devastating disease.

My great-aunt Bea has been recently diagnosed, and though the news of her diagnosis is sad; she is still just as sharp and quick-witted as ever.

Please join me and thousands of other Central Virginians in our effort to raise awareness and funds to combat this terrible disease.

The Alzheimer’s Association is the brains behind saving yours; join us in the fight to end Alzheimer’s!

You can now register for the 2015 Walks to End Alzheimer’s!

Northern Neck – Middle Peninsula; Saturday, September 19th at Bethpage Camp Resort. Register and donate at bit.ly/NNMPWalkToEndALZ2015

Fredericksburg; Saturday, September 26th at University of Mary Washington. Register and donate at bit.ly/FredericksburgWalkToEndALZ2015

Richmond Walk to End Alzheimer’s; Saturday, November 7th at Innsbrook. Register and donate at bit.ly/RVAWalkToEndALZ2015

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Caregiver Tips for Traveling with Alzheimer’s

1. Carry important documents and medications with you.
These documents should include emergency contact information, physician information, a list of current medications and dosages, and any food allergies. Also have your travel itinerary and insurance information readily available.

2. Be sure your loved one is wearing an identification bracelet.
This is especially important for seniors who may wander. If you do not have an ID bracelet for them, put their name on their clothing and be sure they have your number and a list of medical conditions in their wallet.

3. Keep surroundings as familiar as possible.
People with Alzheimer’s often have difficulty in new environments so try to bring familiar things from home on your trip (i.e., blankets, pillows, pajamas). Try to keep their routine the same to avoid confusion.

4. Limit connections and layovers.
Try to take a direct flight to your destination to avoid a tight connection, a missed flight, and further distress. Many airlines will allow you to pre-board which will give your loved one more time to adjust to their new surroundings.

5. Keep travel time to less than four hours.
If your flight or drive is longer than four hours be sure to have at least two caregivers present. Bring photos and toys to keep your loved one busy during the travel time.

6. Consider staying in a hotel rather than with relatives.
A hotel can give your loved one a calm place to go when the trip becomes hectic. They may also be able to stick to their routine better in a hotel. In addition, some family members may not be familiar with Alzheimer’s and might not know what to expect. Be sure to make the hotel staff aware of any special needs in advance.

7. Allow extra time.
Whether making a flight or driving in a car keep in mind that your loved one may need extra time to feel comfortable in their new surroundings. Be prepared to be patient with them and allow plenty of time to make travel less stressful.

8. Set realistic expectations.
People with Alzheimer’s need consistency so it is often easier to travel with someone in the earlier stages of the disease. If your loved one exhibits delusional, paranoid behavior, physical or verbal aggression, has a high risk of falling, or has unstable medical conditions, it may be a better idea to find summer fun locally.

Additional caregiver tips are available at http://www.alz.org/care/overview.asp

10 Ways to Love Your Brain

The evidence is mounting – Central Virginians can reduce their risk of cognitive decline by making key lifestyle changes. That is the conclusion of a new research summary published in early June in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association.

With this in mind, the Alzheimer’s Association offers 10 Ways to Love Your Brain, tips that may reduce the risk of cognitive decline.

1 – Break a sweat.
Engage in regular cardiovascular exercise that elevates your heart rate and increases blood flow to the brain and body. Several studies have found an association between physical activity and reduced risk of cognitive decline.

2 – Hit the books.
Formal education in any stage of life will help reduce your risk of cognitive decline and dementia. For example, take a class at a local college, community center or online.

3 – Butt out.
Evidence shows that smoking increases risk of cognitive decline. Quitting smoking can reduce that risk to levels comparable to those who have not smoked.

4 – Follow your heart.
Evidence shows that risk factors for cardiovascular disease and stroke – obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes – negatively impact your cognitive health. Take care of your heart, and your brain just might follow.

5 – Heads up!
Brain injury can raise your risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Wear a seat belt, use a helmet when playing contact sports or riding a bike, and take steps to prevent falls.

6 – Fuel up right.
Eat a healthy and balanced diet that is lower in fat and higher in vegetables and fruit to help reduce the risk of cognitive decline. Although research on diet and cognitive function is limited, certain diets, including Mediterranean and Mediterranean-DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), may contribute to risk reduction.

7 – Catch some Zzz’s.
Not getting enough sleep due to conditions like insomnia or sleep apnea may result in problems with memory and thinking.

8 – Take care of your mental health.
Some studies link a history of depression with increased risk of cognitive decline, so seek medical treatment if you have symptoms of depression, anxiety or other mental health concerns. Also, try to manage stress.

9 – Buddy up.
Staying socially engaged may support brain health. Pursue social activities that are meaningful to you. Find ways to be part of your local community – if you love animals, consider volunteering at a local shelter. If you enjoy singing, join a local choir or help at an afterschool program. Or, just share activities with friends and family.

10 – Stump yourself.
Challenge and activate your mind. Build a piece of furniture. Complete a jigsaw puzzle. Do something artistic. Play games, such as bridge, that make you think strategically. Challenging your mind may have short and long-term benefits for your brain.

In addition to reducing your risk of cognitive decline, these tips may also reduce your risk of dementia. Evidence for reducing risk of dementia is currently strongest in relation to formal education and the avoidance of head injury; other tips show indication of possibly reducing risk. Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, is one of the nation’s largest public health crises. Alzheimer’s is an irreversible neurological disease that impairs cognition, orientation and functional capacity, and it is the only cause of death among the top 10 life-threatening conditions in the United States that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed.

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July 2015 Support Groups – Middle Peninsula and Nothern Neck

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July 7th; 6pm
For Caregivers
The Orchard
62 Delfae Drive
Warsaw, VA 22572
Respite available with reservation.
Please call Carolyn Costello, 804-615-1117, for more information.

July 8th; 10:30am
For Caregivers
Alzheimer’s Association Office – DeHardit House
7335 Lewis Avenue
Gloucester, VA 23061
No respite available.
Please contact Ted Leonard, 804-642-9189, for more information.

July 13th; 11am
For Caregivers
Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury
132 Lancaster Drive
Irvington, VA 22489
No respite available.
Please call Georgia Gardner, 804-438-4026, for more information.

July 16th; 6pm
For Caregivers
Alzheimer’s Association Office – DeHardit House
7335 Lewis Avenue
Gloucester, VA 23061
No respite available
Please call Ellie Galloway, 804-695-9382, for more information.

July 21st; 10:30am
For Caregivers
Harmony Grove Baptist Church
7722 Gen. Puller Hwy
Topping, VA 23169
No respite available.
Please contact Barbara Swain, 804-832-1571, or Lisa Jones, 804-695-9008, for more information.

July 23rd; 10:30am
For Caregivers
Commonwealth Assisted Living
460 S. Main Street
Kilmarnock,VA 22482
Respite care available with reservation.
Please contact Ellie Galloway, 804-695-9382, for more information.

July 23rd; 3pm
For Caregivers
Commonwealth at Farnham
511 Cedar Grove
Farnham, VA 22460
Respite care available with reservation.
Please contact Jill White, 804-695-7290, for more information.

July 28th; 10am
For Persons with Dementia
Call the Alzheimer’s Association for more information, 804-695-9382

July 2015 Support Groups – Fredericksburg

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July 7th; 10am
For Caregivers
Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center
2nd Floor Conference Room
4600 Spotsylvania Avenue
Fredericksburg, VA 22408
Please contact Lori Myers, 540-370-0835, for more information.

July 13th; 6:30pm
Early Stage for Caregivers and Persons with Dementia
Please call the Chapter Office, 540-370-0835, for more information.

July 21st; 1:30pm
For Caregivers
Homecare America
2017 Plank Road
Fredericksburg, VA 22401
Please contact Lori Myers, 540-370-0835, for more information.

July 21st; 7pm
For Caregivers
Carriage Hill Health & Rehabilitation Center
6106 Health Center Lane
Fredericksburg, VA 22407
Please contact Judy Scheibe, 540-898-1378, for more information.

July 2015 Support Groups – Richmond and Tri-Cities

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July 2nd; 6pm
For Caregivers
Good Shepherd Baptist Church
1127 N. 28th Street
Richmond, VA 23223
Please call Wanda Hunt, 804-305-8394, for more information.

July 7th; 10:30am
For Caregivers
Second Branch Baptist Church
12217 Second Branch Road
Chesterfield, VA 23838
Please call Edith Byrnes, 804-271-4441, or Sharon Condrey, 804-590-9305, for more information.

July 7th; 3pm
For Caregivers
First Baptist Church
401 N. Second Avenue
Hopewell, VA 23860
Please call Blanche Castelow, 804-748-5585, or June Gilliam, 804-748-6668, for more information.

July 7th; 7pm
For Caregivers
First Baptist Church
800 Thompson Street
Ashland, VA 23005
Please call Bob Junod, 804-752-2219, for more information.

July 8th; 9:30am
For Caregivers
Hanover Adult Day Center
7231 Stonewall Parkway
Mechanicsville, VA 23111
Please call Vivian Bagby, 804-321-1649, or Barbara Allen, 804-782-1942, for more information.

July 8th; 10am
For Caregivers
New Life United Methodist Church
900 Old Hundred Road
Midlothian, VA 23114
Please call Bob Schaefer, 804-310-7991, or Leigh Hilldrup, 804-839-0236, for more information.

July 13th; 10am
For Caregivers
Mt. Vernon Baptist Church
11220 Nuckols Road, Glen Allen, VA 23059
Please call Jessica Samet, 804-967-2580, for more information.

July 14th; 7pm
For Adult Children
Bon Air Methodist Church
1645 Buford Road
N. Chesterfield, VA 23235
Please call Lynda Gormus, 804-320-0619, or Erin Davidson, 804-514-2142, for more information.

July 16th; 7pm
For Caregivers
Lucy Corr Village
6800 Lucy Corr Court
Chesterfield, VA 23832
Please call Blanche Castelow, 804-748-5585, or Edith Byrnes, 804-271-4441, for more information.

July 21st; 10am
For Caregivers
Lakewood Manor
1900 Lauderdale Drive
Henrico, VA 23238
Please call Beth Meyers, 804-967-2598, for more information.

July 21st; 2pm
For Caregivers
Bon Air Methodist Church
1645 Buford Road
Family Life Center, Blanchette Brown Room
N. Chesterfield, VA 23235
Please call Nancy Lentz, 804-967-2586, for more information.

July 21st; 7pm
For Caregivers
Brandermill Woods Health Care Center
2100 Brandermill Parkway
Midlothian, VA 23112
Please call Merle Kahn, 804-967-2575, for more information.

July 23rd; 1pm
For Caregivers
Chickahominy YMCA
5401 Whiteside Road
Sandston, VA 23150
Please call Connie Tucker, 804-241-2056, or Beth Meyers, 804-967-2598, for more information.

July 23rd, 1:30pm
Early Stage for Caregivers and Persons with Dementia
Please Call the Chapter Office, 804-967-2580, for more information.

July 25th; 12pm
For Caregivers
First Union Baptist Church
3510 Dill Road
Richmond, VA 23222
Please call Jacki Page, 804-321-2573, for more information.

July 28th; 6pm
For Caregivers
St. Mary’s Hopsital
5801 Bremo Road, Room 163
Richmond, VA 23226
Please call Mary Ann Johnson, 804-967-2582, for more information.

Younger-Onset Group
This is a Support Group for individuals who were diagnosed with a dementia disease under the age of 65. For more information on this group, please contact the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Richmond Chapter office at 804-967-2580.

Why I Walk – Christy Talbott

WhyIWalk

My name is Christy Talbott and I Walk to End Alzheimer’s in honor of my best friend and husband Don. Don and I have been married for 28 years. When Don was 39 years old, I knew he had something very wrong with him. It took two years to get the final diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Don was only 41 years old when he was told to go home and get his affairs in order. It seemed every day I was losing a little piece of the man I once knew and loved.

My journey to help my husband started with the Alzheimer’s Association.

Education, support groups and trial match changed our lives forever!

The complex course of Alzheimer’s can be so overwhelming. Alzheimer’s education prepared me to advocate for my loved one. Support groups gave me the coping skills I needed and reminded me I was not alone. Trial match has been a life-altering blessing in our lives. Don was involved in two drug studies and most recently had a Deep Brain Stimulator (DBS) placed at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. The DBS is making a difference in his ability to remember and communicate.

Without the Walk to End Alzheimer’s there would be no funding for educational programs, support groups and research!

Hope is a terrible thing to lose.

The walk provides us HOPE THAT ONE DAY WE WILL HAVE THE FIRST PERSON SAY I AM AN ALZHEIMER’S SURVIVOR.
You can now register for the 2015 Walks to End Alzheimer’s!

Northern Neck – Middle Peninsula; Saturday, September 19th at Bethpage Camp Resort. Register and donate at bit.ly/NNMPWalkToEndALZ2015

Fredericksburg; Saturday, September 26th at University of Mary Washington. Register and donate at bit.ly/FredericksburgWalkToEndALZ2015

Richmond Walk to End Alzheimer’s; Saturday, November 7th at Innsbrook. Register and donate at bit.ly/RVAWalkToEndALZ2015