Event was held by Alzheimer’s Association Greater Missouri Chapter and Joplin NAACP
Patsy Robinson was married to her second husband for 24 years. When he was diagnosed with cancer, she started to notice something was off.
“He became ill and he was losing memory.”
Unsure of what was happening, she immediately sought out help from the Alzheimer’s Association.
“I wanted to know what is this and what can I do about it because I did not want to see him get to the point, when you know in nursing homes you see them and they don’t know anything and they’re just sitting there, I did not want him to get to that point.”
Watching a loved one develop Alzheimer’s inspired her to get more educated on the brain disease.
She attended the ‘10 Warning Signs Class’ held by the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Missouri Chapter and the Joplin NAACP.
“I’m going to learn from what’s happened, and I can go out and tell people because I know a lot of people that need this service right here, right here in Joplin.”
The event educated community members on what to look out for, steps to take and the importance of early identification.
The 10 warning signs of Alzheimer’s from the Alzheimer’s Association are
- Memory loss that disrupts daily life
- Challenges in planning or problem solving
- Difficulty completing familiar tasks
- Confusion with time or place
- Trouble understanding visual images or spatial relationships
- New problems with words in speaking or writing
- Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
- Decreased or poor judgment
- Withdraw from work or certain activities
- Changes in mood or personality
“Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading death in the United States but it’s the only in the top ten that cannot be cured, can’t be prevented and there’s no slowing of the progression, so we know that medications that are available to help with symptoms are going to be more effective in early stage. The research that we have supports that we can extend quality of life if we get a diagnose earlier in dementia diagnosis” said Faith Outreach Coordinator with the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Missouri Chapter, Samantha Whittaker.
The information provided were what all generations can take to better understand this deadly disease
“When we are unaware, we become afraid of things, and so we hope that people walk out with knowledge of the ten warning signs and then what to do so it’s not just that they can identify these issues themselves or a loved one or just someone in their community but now they know what to do” added Whittaker.
For Robinson, she is looking forward to helping educate the community more on the disease she saw firsthand.
“I’m sure there are things that have changed since I saw that, and I’d like to see what it is and share it.”
This was the first time the Organization paired with the Joplin NAACP to hold this event. They expect to hold more classes in the future.