Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias that affect us in our later years can be especially troubling. I believe we fear that dementia will squash our independence and make it impossible to multitask — an activity based heavily on recent memory.
Maybe we fear that the future will not have a role for “elders.” In past generations, most elders lived with their children, and seniors could gracefully “slow down,” taking on smaller roles in managing the household. Expectations were reasonable. Elders were respected for their long-term memory and the wisdom it brings to current challenges.
Despite our fears, dementia has the potential to touch every family and you may already be a patient or a care partner. We all need to know the latest information and what to plan for as we get older. As my tu¯ tu¯ says, “It is what it is.” We are fortunate to have three dedicated experts take the time to share their knowledge with us so we can put our fears aside and help our families, friends, neighbors and yes — ourselves — look at this disorder headon. Alzheimer’s has a face, and it is ours.
Our December/January issue, with Father Bill Petri’s story and a tour of Kalaupapa had great reader reviews. We love to hear from you, so please post your comments at www.generations808.com, or email us a picture, like the new Episcopal Deacons did. News: America’s Health Rankings® Annual Report found that Hawai‘i ranks No.1 among all states in overall health. Our strengths are a low prevalence of obesity and very few preventable hospitalizations. We need to do better job immunizing our youth for tetanus, diphtheria and Whooping Cough (Tdap vaccine) and we have to clean up our act and reduce the incidence of Salmonella food poisoning. A third area of improvement is to reduce excessive consumption of alcohol.
It’s very clear that health and wellness is something achieved by increasing awareness and activating the entire community to adopt healthy attitudes and habits. Generations Magazine is pleased to be a positive resource for living in Hawai‘i.
Every Day is Brand New!
Katherine Kama‘ema‘e Smith, Associate Editor