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About Madison Senior Center and Alzheimer’s & Dementia Alliance of Wisconsin: Local Senior Organizations Offer Holiday Health Tips for Older Adults

Checklist helps identify concerns about health, nutrition and socialization during holiday visits

Madison, WI – (December 11, 2017) – The Madison Senior Center and the Alzheimer’s & Dementia Alliance of Wisconsin have joined together to develop a simple checklist for families with elderly parents and relatives to help keep their loved ones healthier physically, mentally and emotionally during the hectic holiday season.

Holiday visits by family members provide an important opportunity to assess how loved ones are doing and identify areas of concern such as memory loss, or where they could use a little more assistance. Staying physically healthy is always a priority for older adults and one way to do that is making sure they get their annual flu and pneumonia vaccines.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 900,000 people contract pneumococcal pneumonia each year and nearly 4,000 - primarily older adults - will die from the disease. Vaccination offers the best protection against pneumonia, but sadly, 40% of those individuals age 65+ don't get the shots. “Often, we hear that accessibility and transportation to a doctor, clinic and/or pharmacy to receive vaccinations can be a deterrent. Visiting family members can remove barriers by ensuring their loved one sees their doctors for a thorough examination and receives their flu and/or pneumonia vaccine. Signs of memory loss, confusion or assistance with personal care can also be identified and discussed during this visit,” said Rob Gundermann, Public Policy Director, Alzheimer’s & Dementia Alliance of Wisconsin.

Staying healthy also involves getting the proper nutrition and socialization. “Having a strong social network is important in alleviating depression, which is something we often see in older adults. Loneliness and a lack of activity directly impact a person’s overall health. Senior centers, meal delivery programs and other resources are available to help elderly people stay engaged, meet new people and receive the assistance they both want and need to remain independent and in their own homes,” added Christine Beatty, Director, Madison Senior Center.

Additional tips and recommendations can be found online at both organizations and are provided in the attached checklist. Family members are encouraged to reach out to their local organizations for resources to help with caregiving and other needs for elderly relatives and friends. The Dane County Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) is also a good resource.

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About Madison Senior Center and Alzheimer’s & Dementia Alliance of Wisconsin:
The Madison Senior Center involves older adults as leaders, teachers and learners and provides a balanced, diverse, and coordinated program that acts as an ideal model for aging.

The Alzheimer's & Dementia Alliance of Wisconsin is a nonprofit organization that is specifically designed to provide a link to resources for people with Alzheimer's disease or related dementias and provides support to those who care for persons with dementia. The agency’s mission is to help caregivers take care of themselves as well as provide a quality life for the person with Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia.

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