HOBBIES ARE GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH

Do you have a hobby? Hobbies can give meaning and purpose to your life in retirement. As Robert Putnam points out in his book, Bowling Alone, it’s easy to discount the importance of hobbies and social engagements. Putnam details the widespread decline in civic engagement, from PTA memberships to neighborhood potlucks and bowling leagues. Over a couple of generations, Americans have misplaced the concept of free time.

SPECIAL PLANS FOR YOUR SPECIAL PEOPLE

Lily is a beautiful, active and full of personality toddler who happens to have Down syndrome. Lily’s parents and I have been friends for years and I have the continuing pleasure of watching Lily and her siblings grow up. While Lily is becoming a physical therapy rock star and hitting all her milestones in a timely fashion, her parents have started planning for the future.

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WHY WE ENJOY OUR HOBBIES

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a hobby as “a pursuit outside one’s regular occupation, engaged in especially for relaxation.” Hobbies include anything from playing a musical instrument to gardening, bird watching or sewing. A hobby is a way of focusing on something you enjoy just for the sake of that enjoyment. It may also be a way to clear your mental palette. You could be stressed out by a situation at work or the challenges of raising children and need an escape.

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Association can help with activity suggestions, communication and learning how to identify confusion and the triggers that increase incidences of wandering.


Planning Ahead



Should a loved one go missing, especially in colder temperatures, experts recommend calling 911 as soon as possible so a Kentucky Golden Alert or other public notification can be issued. In addition, file a report with MedicAlert+ Alzheimer’s Association Safe Return at 1-800- 625-3780. First responders are trained to check with MedicAlert+ Alzheimer’s Association Safe Return when they locate a missing person with dementia. You do not need to be enrolled in MedicAlert+ Alzheimer’s Association Safe Return in order to file a missing report.


Kentucky Golden Alerts are a public notification system that may be used to assist in the safe recovery of a missing adult who has a verified mental or cognitive impairment, including but not limited to Alzheimer’s disease, and whose disappearance poses a credible threat to the health or safety of the person.



About the Alzheimer’s Association


The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Our 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. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s. For more information, visit www.alz.org.

Sixty percent of those with Alzheimer’s disease will wander at some point during their diagnosis. This is a significant safety concern for the more than 71,000 people living with Alzheimer’s in Kentucky. A person living with Alzheimer’s or another dementia may not remember his or her name or address and can become disoriented even in familiar places. In cold temperatures and winter weather conditions, wandering can be dangerous – even life-threatening. As weather becomes inclement, it is important to keep your loved one with dementia safe by taking simple precautions to prevent wandering.


Carry out daily activities:

Having a routine can provide structure. Consider creating a daily plan.


Avoid busy places:

Shopping malls and grocery stores can be confusing, causing disorientation.


Night wandering:

Restrict fluids two hours before bedtime and ensure the person has gone to the bathroom just before bed. Also, use night lights throughout the home or facility.

ALZHEIMER’S ASSOCIATION OFFERS SAFETY TIPS FOR THE COLD WEATHER

Locks:

Place these out of sight. Install slide bolts at the top or bottom of doors.


Doors and door knobs:

Camouflage doors by painting them the same colors as the walls. Cover them with removable curtains or screens. Cover knobs with cloth in the color of the door or use childproof knobs.


Monitoring devices:

Try devices that signal when a door or window is opened. Place a pressure-sensitive mat at the door or bedside to alert you to movement.


Secure trigger items:

Some people will not go out without a coat, hat, pocketbook, keys, wallet, etc. Making these items unavailable can prevent wandering.


When temperatures plummet and staying indoors is encouraged, planning ahead for your loved one can be crucial for his or her safety. The Alzheimer’s