Discovering Alzheimer's Disease
Learn about the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, as well as tips for coping with the diagnosis.
Click here to see a short video of Caregivers discuss the signs and symptoms that led to their loved one's Alzheimer's disease diagnosis. This video is from the Caregiver Action Network.
It is so important for people dealing with an Alzheimer’s diagnosis to know they are not alone. There are resources and support available to them. For more information contact your local ADRC. Call: 877-794-2372
September is Falls Prevention Awareness Month in Wisconsin. Unfortunately, Wisconsin has the highest death rate due to falls for older adults of any state in the country. Every 11 seconds an older adult in the U.S. is admitted to an Emergency Department for a fall. One in four older adults has a fall each year costing over $1 billion annually in Wisconsin.
The good news is that falls are not a normal part of aging. They can be prevented. The Wisconsin Institute for Healthy Aging, the Aging and Disability Resource Center of Eagle Country’s Richland Center office and Symons Recreation encourage older adults to prevent falls with these six steps:
1.Talk to a physical therapist to learn about balance and strength exercises that are proven to reduce falls.
2.Ask your health care provider for a falls risk assessment and share your history of recent falls.
3.Review the medications you are taking with your pharmacist and doctors regularly to explore whether side effects are increasing your risk of falling.
4.Get your vision and hearing checked annually and update your eyeglasses; people with untreated vision or hearing losses are more likely to fall.
5.Keep your home safe by removing tripping hazards, increasing lighting, making stairs safe and installing secure grab bars in key areas.
6.Talk to your family members and enlist their support in taking simple steps to stay safe.
Take steps to avoid a painful and costly fall. For more information in Richland County regarding fall prevention and classes that can prevent falls call The ADRC at 608-647-4616 or Symons Recreation at 608-647-8522 for help.
All other counties contact your local ADRC by calling: 877-794-2372 to find out what options are available.
Unfortunately the ADRC of Eagle Country had to make the hard decision to postpone the event Alive and Kickin due to an increase of COVID cases in our county and region. The event will be offered next Spring instead.
The “Alive and Kickin” group combined with the Remember Project event focuses on providing fun entertainment through music combined with a short one act play aimed to provide education regarding memory loss. This event promised to be a fun and educational event meant for all age groups. The ADRC is excited to offer the program in 2022!
There was a great deal of interest in our community and many people had made reservations for the event. For individuals who had signed up for the event, we will mail or call you with information regarding when the it will be offered in 2022. Once there is a new date set the ADRC will make sure to advertise it far and wide so people are aware.
COVID has continued to affect our community and will continue to do so. Please remember to wear a mask when in public and if you have not been vaccinated, please do so. Contact your local ADRC to find out how: 877-794-2372
What is the Senior Farmers’ Market
Nutrition Program (SFMNP)? The SFMNP offers eligible low-income seniors the opportunity to purchase fresh, locally grown fruits, vegetables and herbs from certified farmers. The goals of the SFMNP are:
Native American age 55 years or older), and meets the income requirements – individual
$1986/month; couple $2686/month. Applicants may be required to provide proof of age and
How Does the Program Work? Enrolled seniors will receive vouchers worth $25 per
household. These vouchers may be used to purchase locally grown fresh fruits, vegetables
and herbs at approved farmers’ markets or roadside stands. These vouchers are good until
October 31, 2021.
How Do I Get These Vouchers? Due to COVID, vouchers can be distributed via phone
and mail or face-to-face following COVID safety protocol and by appointment only. There is a
limited number of vouchers for each County. Vouchers will be distributed on a first come, first
served basis. You can pre-register for vouchers by calling Tanya at (608) 649-5937.
How Do I Get Vouchers If I Can’t Come to pick them up? If you are homebound, or unable
to get to a distribution site due to a disability, you may assign an Authorized Representative
(or Proxy) on your behalf. Contact Richland County Health & Human Services at 608-647-
8821 and ask to speak with Tanya.
How Do I Get More Information? Contact Tanya at Richland County Health & Human
Services at 608-649-5937 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org with Senior Farmer’s
Market in the subject line.
Richland County HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES ANDTHE COMMUNITY SERVICES BUILDING WILL REOPEN TO THE PUBLIC ON MAY 3rd
By the GWAAR Medicare Outreach Team — for reprint
After a long winter, the signs of spring are sprouting up all around us. Now is a good time to focus on your health so you can enjoy all that this season has to offer. Taking advantage of Medicare preventive benefits is the perfect way to spring into better health!
Preventive services can help you prevent illnesses and detect health problems early, when treatment works best. People with Medicare have access to a wide range of preventive tests and screenings, most at no extra cost. If you’re new to Medicare, a “Welcome to Medicare” preventive visit is covered during the first 12 months you are enrolled in Part B. The visit includes a review of your medical and social history as well as education and counseling about preventive services, including certain screenings, shots and referrals for other care, if needed. Once you’ve had Part B for longer than 12 months, you can get a yearly “Wellness” visit to develop or update a personalized prevention plan based on your current health and risk factors. Note: The Wellness visit is not the same as an annual physical exam.
You pay nothing for the “Welcome to Medicare” visit or yearly “Wellness” visit if your doctor or other health
care provider accepts Medicare assignment. If additional tests or services are performed during the same visit that aren’t covered under the preventive benefit, you may have to pay coinsurance, and the Part B deductible may apply.
Medicare also covers screening tests for breast cancer, diabetes, heart disease, obesity management, and osteoporosis, just to name a few. You can find a complete list of Medicare-covered preventive services in your Medicare and You 2021 handbook or on the Medicare website at www.medicare.gov. Talk to your doctor about what screenings and shots are right for you.
For local assistance with Medicare questions or other health insurance counseling, contact the ADRC of Eagle Country, Richland Center office at 608-647-4616
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT REACHING SOCIAL SECURITY DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC During the coronavirus pandemic, SSA continues to provide help to you and other people in your communities. While offices are not providing service to walk-in visitors, they remain ready and able to help you by phone with most Social Security business. You can speak with a representative by calling your local Social Security office or the National 800 Number. You can find local office phone numbers online by using the Social Security Office Locator at www.ssa.gov/locator. The La Crosse office serves most of Richland County and can be reached at 1-866-770-2345. SSA offers many secure and convenient online services at www.ssa.gov/ onlineservices, where you can:
Apply for Retirement, Disability, and Medicare benefits; Check the status of an application or appeal; Request a replacement Social Security card (in most areas);
Print a benefit verification letter and much more.
Although you can do most of your business with us online, we know that service channel isn’t right for everyone. You can still count on us by phone. If you have a critical situation and we cannot help you with by phone or online, we may be able to schedule an appointment for you. If you need help, please don’t wait until you can be seen in person. Call them now and get the help you need. SSA also understands that getting medical and other documentation can be difficult due to the pandemic, so they are continuing to extend certain deadlines wherever possible
Talk to someone who provides care for their aging loved one and they will tell you what a stressful job caregiving can be. The American Medical Association states that the role of caregiving places demands on the caregiver which leaves them at risk for health problems including serious illness and depression. And according to the American Journal of Public Health, middle-aged and older women caring for their spouses are six times more likely to suffer from depression or anxiety disorders than their non-caregiving counterparts. The result of this decline in health by the caregiver not only affects the person giving the care, but it may also compromise the care they are providing their loved one.
Reading information like this can make caregiving sound very bleak and discouraging. But we also know that caregiving can be a very rewarding job. The key difference between a caregiver who is barely hanging on and one who is managing successfully is having proper support in their role as a caregiver. Healthy and content caregivers not only receive help with the ongoing responsibilities of providing care but they also have found an emotional support network.
The American Medical Association suggests to physicians that “a referral to a support group should be recommended for all caregivers.” Oftentimes, people hear the words “support group” and immediately tune out. They are uncomfortable with the idea of sharing their feelings. Or they think of a support group as a pity party or place to complain about their lives. But support groups are much more than that and the benefits they offer are valuable. Even amidst the pandemic, these groups continue to meet by phone or online.
The definition of a support group is a gathering (in person, by phone or video-conference) of people in similar situations who provide each other moral support, practical information, and coping tips. Here are some of the benefits of attending support group meetings. They provide valuable information that will increase your knowledge of caregiving. One of the best resources for caregivers is other caregivers! They teach coping skills. The information and
advice that the group provides can assist in problem solving the many different challenging situations you may be experiencing. They are a place to share common concerns and joys. Others in similar situations can then offer encouragement and support. They are a safe place to identify and express stressful feelings with people who will understand and offer emotional support. Having this support can improve your mood and decrease feelings of distress. They provide affirmation and advocacy. The group serves as a source of validation and can offer avenues to local resources.
The benefits of attending support group meetings can help you feel less alone, give you new strategies to cope with day-to-day stressors and help you feel affirmed in your work as a caregiver. The result will be a healthier, happier you which in turn means better care for your loved one. By taking time to care for your physical and emotional needs, you will discover you can feel more joy and contentment in your caregiving role.
Currently there are dozens of support groups meeting virtually - by phone or video conference. You can find a list of them by visiting http://wisconsincaregiver.org/ virtual-events-for-caregivers or contact the ADRC of Eagle Country’s Richland Center office at 608-6474616.
If you have never attended a support group, give it a try. You might find it to be just the thing you needed to help you through another day or week of caregiving. If you are in need of other caregiver support or resources, please contact the ADRC at 608-647-4616.
Jane Mahoney Older American’s Act Consultant Greater Wisconsin Agency on Aging Resources
This article and more can be found in the Richland Center Office Family and Friends Newsletter.