OSHKOSH (NBC 26) — According to the Alzheimers Association, 6.5 million Americans over the age of 65 suffer from Alzheimer's. Life with Alzheimer's and other memory issues can be difficult for those living with the conditions, but the Fox Valley Memory Project has some advice for how to make their lives a little better. For Fox Valley Memory Project Executive Director Mike Rohrkaste, the evidence suggests staying engaged is the key to staying sharp.
“They say the worst thing for people to do with Alzheimer's and dementia is to stay at home and not be active in the community,” he said.
Rohrkaste and co-worker Kristy Millar hosted a dementia-capable training event at the Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce Thursday morning. They emphasized that it's important for people with memory issues to stay active and engaged, even if they may need additional help doing so.
“People with dementia still want to do things, they just need some support…" said Rohrkaste, "...If they feel comfortable going to a restaurant because the restaurant understands that their loved one with dementia may take longer to order...showing patience, eye contact, understanding, they’re gonna want to go back.”
Aaron Haller attended the training and believes a little understanding can go a long way in helping someone with memory issues.
“I think patience is key," he said. "Just be patient and kind to people. I know life gets busy for all of us but you don’t know what other people are going through, so if you see someone struggling take a minute to help them out."
Fox Valley Memory Project also offers support for caregivers, so if you need help caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's or Dementia, you can contact them through their website