OHH Auxiliary Supports
The Olney Hamilton Hospital Auxiliary invited the Alzheimer’s Association of Wichita Falls to present facts about Alzheimer’s disease during Alzheimer’s Awareness month. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, more than 5.4 million Americans live with Alzheimer’s. The most significant risk factor is age, with one in nine people 65 and older having the disease. Since the disease has become the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S., the OHH Auxiliary volunteers thought it would be a helpful discussion topic for the community.
The Alzheimer’s program coordinator, Alyssa Johnston, presented 10 warning signs at the Auxiliary’s regular meeting held on Wednesday, Sept. 8.
The Auxiliary president, Phyllis Whitsitt said, “I think it is important for the elderly people in our community to be aware of these warning signs. So we thought it would be a good idea to invite her to our meeting to get the information we need to spread the word on a broader scale.”
Whitsitt said the Auxiliary would like to host another meeting that would be open to the public so that people who are suffering from Alzheimer’s can get a jump-start on the proper care and families who are dealing with elderly parents or relatives can learn about the available resources.
Johnston explained the 10 warning signs: “ 1) Memory loss that disrupts daily life, 2) Challenges in planning or solving problems, 3) Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure, 4) Confusion with time or place, 5) Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships, 6) New problems with words in speaking or writing 7) Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps, 8) Decreased or poor judgment, 9) Withdrawal from work or social activities and 10) Changes in mood or personality.”
Johnston said if you or someone you know is dealing with any warning signs, you should not be afraid of having the disease, but instead, take advantage of the available educational resources.
Considering the warning signs, ALZ.org offers 10 ways to help a family living with Alzheimer’s. “1) Educate yourself about the disease, 2) Stay in touch with the person who has the disease, 3) Be patient 4) Offer a shoulder to lean on, 5) Engage the person with dementia in conversation, 6) Offer to help the family with its to-do list, 7) Engage family members in activities, 8) Offer family members a reprieve, 9) Be flexible and 10) Support the Alzheimer’s cause.
Please reach out to one of the OHH Auxiliary members to share your interest in attending an informational seminar about Alzheimer’s disease Oct. 29..
For more information about the available resources, contact Alyssa Johnston by calling 940.222.5820. The Alzheimer’s Association of North Central Texas is located at 901 Indiana Street, Suite 350, Wichita Falls. You will find additional facts at alz.org. The 24- hour hotline is 800.272.3900.
In addition to managing the OHH gift shop, the OHH Auxiliary raises funds to provide additional support to the hospital for items that may not be in the annual budget. They also extend their reach to inform the public and patients about health to improve the quality of life for those they serve.
To learn more about the Auxiliary. https://olneyhamiltonhospital.com/auxiliary/