Bear Hill Hosts Discussion on Issues Facing Seniors
By Caroline Colarusso
Issues Facing Seniors
The fastest growing population in the nation is the elderly. According to Census Bureau data, by 2050 the elder population is expected to double from approximately 41 million to 87 million. Recently I visited Stoneham's Bear Hill Rehability and Nursing Center and the Arnold House to discuss with issues facing elder long term care.
Many of us find ourselves caring for aging parents as they need assistance. As a daughter caring for her mom with Alzheimer's, I understand these challenges first-hand.
My mom was a healthy, active, independent woman who suddenly began demonstrating signs of memory loss, confusion, and failing to recognize people she had known for years. Family members can sometimes dismiss these symptoms as signs of old age or dementia, but early diagnosis can be critical to seniors in battling this disease.
My mom was originally misdiagnosed. Many elders can function normally with early signs of Alzheimer's as they can get their shopping done, attend appointments, and take care of their basic living needs. It's the little things that should raise the red flag, like forgetting the date or misplacing keys.
Alzheimer's is progressive in nature and that's why it's important we recognize the signs and symptoms of the early onset of the disease. According to ALZ.ORG, as many as half of people with Alzheimer's and other dementias have not been diagnosed. Early detection improves access to medical and support services, provides an opportunity to make legal, financial, and care plans while the affected individual is still capable.
We are lucky to have quality facilities locally. Stoneham's Bear Hill Nursing Home provides a wide array of services which include skilled nursing services, subacute care program, short-term rehabilitation services, hospice, and long term care services. The Arnold House, a smaller facility, sits on a lovely landscaped property adjacent to the Golf Course on Williams Street.
Feel free to call me at 781-438-5720 or email me at CColarusso@StonehamMA.gov if you need assistance.