It’s That Time of Year Again!

Now that you’ve decided what new foods on a stick you want to try, be sure to plan out the rest of your time at the 2016 Great Minnesota Get-Together! HealthStar Home Health is returning to the Minnesota State Fair again this year on a mission to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias by providing FREE memory screenings to anyone who stops at our booth. We will be located in the Health Fair 11 building at the intersection of Dan Patch and Cooper streets. Our booth will be open from 9:00 am – 9:00 pm with FREE memory screenings taking place until 6:00 pm each day of the fair, which runs August 25th – September 5th, 2016.

Alzheimer’s is not just a disease affecting older people. Early-onset Alzheimer’s can affect people who are younger than 65 years of age and close to 5% of the more than 5 million Americans who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease have younger-onset. HealthStar Home Health and the Alzheimer’s Association understand that early detection is key and encourage those who may be experiencing confusion or difficulty in these areas to stop by for a FREE, confidential memory screening:

  • Memory loss that disrupts daily life
  • Confusion with time or place
  • Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, work or at leisure
  • Challenges in solving problems or planning
  • Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
  • Withdrawal from social activities
  • Changes in mood or personality

Although many of these symptoms may sound familiar, that does not mean a person is experiencing early-onset Alzheimer’s. There is typical age-related changes and functions we all experience as we age, but proper early detection and treatment is important so stop by our booth for a face-to-face memory screening. The FREE, confidential memory screening will only take a few minutes and consists of a series of questions and tasks that will access memory. Knowing that as many as 70% of families are opting to care for their aging loved ones at home, HealthStar offers a program called Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care which offers support both in and out of the home to the caregivers and families dealing with the stress and challenging behaviors associated with this disease. HealthStar Home Health feels strongly that memory loss screenings are the first step toward the detection and treatment of early-onset Alzheimer’s.

HealthStar will also be hosting a “Ask the Expert” session at the MN State Fair on August, 29th from 10:00 am – 11:00 am. Dr. Sonia Mosch, PhD., Clinical Neuropsychologist for the MN Wild (NHL Concussion Program), will be the guest expert. Dr. Mosch performs neuropsychological assessments for individuals concerned about the onset of Alzheimer’s and other dementias. If you have questions concerning the brain, now is your opportunity to “Ask the Expert”. Dr. Mosch will also be discussing:

  • The purpose for assessments, general methods, and uses in diagnoses of dementia versus normal aging
  • What to expect if you are referred for a neuropsychological assessment due to dementia concerns or symptoms
  • Recommendations that may arise from a neuropsychological assessment
  • Answer questions fairgoers may have regarding Alzheimer’s and dementia

Plan to join HealthStar and our guest expert Dr. Sonia Mosch in the East Crossroads Auditorium in the Health Fair 11 building on August 29th at 10:00 am for a very informative “Ask the Expert” session!

HealthStar Home Health proudly serves our Minneapolis and St. Paul Minnesota metro communities by not only offering FREE memory screenings at the Minnesota State Fair, but we are also sponsoring the 4th Annual Alzheimer’s Blondes vs Brunettes Twin Cities fundraiser. This fundraiser is a volunteer-driven event that brings young professionals together to support the Alzheimer’s Association and will be held on September 10th, 2016 at Sea Foam Stadium, Concordia University. The event is organized around a flag football game in which the two participating teams are divided based on the age-old rivalry between blondes and brunettes. Funds raised this year at the Blondes vs Brunettes Twin Cities will benefit the mission of the Alzheimer’s Association, Minnesota-North Dakota chapter. Blondes vs Brunettes Twin Cities is a strategic initiative of the Chapter’s Young Champions. To learn more about this fun event, including how you can volunteer or participate, visit their website:  http://bvbtwincities.org/index.html

If you or a loved one are concerned about symptoms of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, plan to stop for a visit at our booth in the Health Fair 11 building at the intersection of Dan Patch and Cooper at the MN State Fair and participate in a FREE, confidential memory screening.  Our booth will be open from 9:00 am – 9:00 pm with HealthStar Home Health professionals conducting memory screenings until 7:00 pm each day of the fair.

See you at the fair!

Memory Care – Early Detection is Key!

Alzheimer’s is not just a disease that affects older people. Early-onset Alzheimer’s can affect people who are younger than 65 years of age and close to 5% of the more than 5 million Americans who have Alzheimer’s disease have younger-onset. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, many Americans with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease are in their 40s and 50s. These alarming statistics and others related to Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias are what drive HealthStar Home Health to spread the word about the importance of early detection.

The brain is a powerful and complex organ with just three main parts that make up the brain itself. Alzheimer’s disease is present when the activity of neurotransmitters and electrical charges in our brain’s function is disrupted. A person with Alzheimer’s will experience nerve cell death and tissue loss in the brain and over time the brain will shrink dramatically, which in turn affects nearly all brain function.

In the very early stages of Alzheimer’s, before testing can even detect the symptoms, a person may notice slight issues in the learning and memory as well as the thinking and planning functioning of the brain. Early symptoms may include confusion or difficulty in these areas:

  • Time and place
  • Completing routine tasks at work or home
  • Finding the right words to use or joining a conversation
  • Misplacing items
  • Judgement or decision-making
  • Mood and personality changes
  • Avoiding work or social activities

Many of these symptoms may sound familiar, but that doesn’t mean a person experiencing some of these has early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. There is typical age-related changes and functions we all experience as we age. The changes experienced by a person with Alzheimer’s are much more extreme, advanced and happen more often than a typical ‘forgetful moment’.

Early detection is key, so if you or a loved one are noticing changes and symptoms don’t ignore them! There may be treatment available as well as clinical studies, so make an appointment with your primary physician right away to discuss health options.

HealthStar Home Health is proud to serve our Minneapolis/St. Paul Minnesota metro communities by offering FREE memory screenings. HealthStar is returning to the 2016 Minnesota State Fair beginning in August with a mission to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias by, once again, providing FREE memory screenings to anyone who stops by our booth. HealthStar Home Health understands the importance of proper early detection and treatment of dementia or Alzheimer’s and is offering face-to-face memory screenings which will only take a few minutes to complete and consist of a series of questions and tasks that will access memory. Knowing that as many as 70% of families are opting to care for their aging loved ones at home, HealthStar offers a program called Alzheimer’s & Dementia Care which offers support both in and out of the home to the caregivers and families dealing with the stress and challenging behaviors associated with this disease. HealthStar feels strongly that memory loss screenings are the first step toward the detection and treatment of early-onset Alzheimer’s.

Another way HealthStar provides support and care for those living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias is to be an official sponsor of a film about Alzheimer’s titled His Neighbor Phil. This film tells the story of Harvey, a man whose wife Mary has early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. This touching film not only shows the effects of this disease on Mary, but also their entire family and the community they live in. Although the film deals with the honest realities, it mainly focuses its attention on the tireless work of the caregivers and how their lives are also affected by the disease. Take a moment to watch a trailer about the moving film His Neighbor Phil.

https://player.vimeo.com/video/110466802

If you or a loved one are concerned about symptoms of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, remember you are not alone. Early detection is important so plan to visit HealthStar Home Health at our booth in the HealthFair 11 building at the corner of Dan Patch & Cooper at the 2016 Minnesota State Fair to participate in a FREE, confidential memory screening. HealthStar Home Health will be conducting memory screenings August 25 – September 5 from 9:00 am – 6:00 pm each day. See you at the fair!

HealthStar Home Health at the MN State Fair

HealthStar Home Health is returning to the Minnesota State Fair in 2015 with a mission to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias by providing FREE memory screenings to anyone who stops by our booth. We will once again have a booth at the MN State Fair in the Health Fair 11 building at the intersection of Dan Patch & Cooper. Our booth will be open from 9:00 am – 9:00 pm with FREE memory screenings taking place until 6:00 pm each day of the fair, which runs August 27th – September 7th, 2015.

Are you concerned about your memory, have a family history of Alzheimer’s, or notice a loved one that is becoming more and more forgetful? HealthStar Home Health understands the importance of proper detection and treatment of dementia or Alzheimer’s and is offering face-to-face memory screenings free of charge. The screening will only take a few minutes and consists of questions and tasks that will assess memory.

HealthStar Home Health and the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America encourages memory screenings for adults with a family history of Alzheimer’s disease, are experiencing memory concerns or for those who want to check their memory now to use as a base for future comparison. Common warning signs of dementia include often forgetting names, places & events, confusion over daily routines and asking repetitive questions.

As many as 70% of families are opting to care for their loved ones at home as long as possible, while managing the various stages of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. HealthStar’s Alzheimer’s & Dementia Care program offers support both in and out of the home to the caregivers and families dealing with the challenging behaviors often associated with this disease. Memory loss screenings are the first step toward detection and treatment. Our nursing experts are able to provide in-home education, training and non-pharmacologic behavior assistance, which is fully covered by most insurance plans and traditional Medicare.

Also, HealthStar is honored to be an official sponsor of a new film about Alzheimer’s titled His Neighbor Phil, which was filmed in the small community of Zumbrota, Minnesota. This film tells the story of Harvey, a man whose wife Mary has early onset Alzheimer’s disease. This touching film not only shows the effects of this disease on Mary, but also their entire family and the community they live in. Although the film deals with the honest realities of Alzheimer’s, it mainly focuses its attention on the tireless work of the caregivers and how their lives are also affected by this disease. Family and caregiver burnout dramatically rises when faced with this disease and the challenges of caring for a loved one. HealthStar is committed to providing the support and care for those living with Alzheimer’s and dementia as well as those caring for them. Take a moment to watch this trailer about the moving film His Neighbor Phil.

Knowing the importance of further research and ongoing education, HealthStar will be involved with several events at the fair to help support the film including radio interviews with Alzheimer’s Speaks on August 27th from 12:00 – 2:00. Lori La Bey, nationally-known radio host and founder of Alzheimer’s Speaks, will conduct spontaneous interviews with various actors, sponsors and fair-goers. Another event we’re really looking forward to is a HealthStar sponsored autograph signing with cast members including lead actor, Daniel Roebuck (The Fugitive, Lost, Glee), Ellen Dolan (As the World Turns) and local actor, Bob Bird, at our booth from 10 AM to 12 PM, Sunday, August 30, 2015. Be sure to check out the schedule of events on the days you plan to be at the state fair.

So, plan to stop for a visit at our booth in the Health Fair 11 building at the intersection of Dan Patch & Cooper at the MN State Fair and take advantage of a free, confidential memory screening. HealthStar Home Health will be promoting the film His Neighbor Phil and conducting memory screenings at our booth, which will be open from 9:00 am – 9:00 pm each day with FREE memory screenings taking place until 6:00 pm. Hope to see you at the fair!

The Importance of Memory Screenings

Memory screenings are a significant first step toward finding out if you may have a memory problem. Memory problems could be caused by Alzheimer’s disease or other medical conditions.

Memory screenings make sense for anyone concerned about memory loss or experiencing warning signs of dementia; whose family and friends have noticed changes in them; or who believe they are at risk due to a family history of Alzheimer’s disease or a related illness. Screenings also are appropriate for anyone who does not have a concern right now, but who wants to see how their memory is now and for future comparisons.

These questions might help you decide if you should be screened. If you answer “yes” to any of them, you might benefit from a memory screening.

  • Am I becoming more forgetful?
  • Do I have trouble concentrating?
  • Do I have difficulty performing familiar tasks?
  • Do I have trouble recalling words or names in conversation?
  • Do I sometimes forget where I am or where I am going?
  • Have family or friends told me that I am repeating questions or saying the same thing over and over again?
  • Am I misplacing things more often?
  • Have I become lost when walking or driving?
  • Have my family or friends noticed changes in my mood, behavior, personality, or desire to do things?

November 18 is the Alzheimer’s Foundation National Memory Screening Day. Join us on that day as we partner with ACR Homes and J. Arthur’s Coffee Shop to provide free memory screenings to the public.

Note: A memory screening is not used to diagnose any particular illness and does not replace consultation with a qualified physician or other healthcare professional.

Memory screening information taken from Alzheimer’s Foundation

MPR Asked, HealthStar Answered.

MPR asked the question: who is making your community better?

This year at the State Fair, we provided 2,200 free memory screenings this year at the Minnesota State Fair. People have mixed feelings about taking a memory screen. Fifty percent of the public told us they didn’t want to know even if they do have memory loss related to dementia. The other half, people who have been affected in some way by Alzheimer’s or dementia, said they wished they would have known to get checked sooner, and thanked us for being at the fair.

One family in particular that had a memory screening during the fair decided to take our advice and have follow up with their physician after their mother scored poorly on the memory screen. Two days later, the daughter returned to our booth to thank us for being at the fair. She said, had we not been there, she never would have known her mother was having difficulties as it was not something that was discussed openly nor something she had detected on her own. This is very common among children with aging parents. During the two days after the screening, the daughter took her mother to the doctor and the doctor agreed that further testing and screening was recommended. Both the daughter and the doctor were very glad they had taken the time to take the screening as the mother would now receive the appropriate care she needed.

We had another gentleman stop by, who stated he had been having memory concerns for several months, and every time he spoke to his family and coworkers about it, they would pass it off as normal aging. After meeting with us, he realized the symptoms he described were in fact something he should talk with his doctor about. Before leaving, he thanked us for being at the fair. He said he felt better now that he had someone that seemed to understand and validate what he had been experiencing, and planned to schedule a doctor’s visit.

Face-to-face memory screenings average three minutes and consist of questions and tasks to assess memory. HealthStar and the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America encourage screenings for adults with memory concerns, a family history of Alzheimer’s disease, and those who want to check their memory now and have the baseline results for future comparison. Unfortunately, there’s a large gap in education. There are many reasons for memory loss that are treatable such as vitamin deficiency, thyroid issues, changes in medication, stress, and many others. Once the public was made aware during our time at the fair that there might be a treatable cause, they were more at ease, and we saw a big jump in the number of people deciding to take the memory screen. We want to raise public awareness and take the fear out of being screened. Early diagnosis and treatment can substantially help during early onset, whereas treatment in later stages of the disease aren’t as beneficial.

For many with Alzheimer’s or dementia, they will spend several years at home under the care of a family member or other caregiver before a move to a higher level nursing facility is required. The behaviors that accompany this disease can be very overwhelming and many families do not have the financial means to cover some of the costs of care, so they suffer through the journey alone, and often alienated from friends and family who eventually pull away. Changes in healthcare, due to high prevalence of the disease, allow our nursing experts to provide training, education and non-pharmacologic behavior assistance in the home to families and caregivers, which is 100 percent covered by traditional Medicare and most insurance plans. The public as well as many healthcare professionals are not aware of this available resource. It is even available to those under the age of 65, if they’ve been diagnosed by a doctor.

HealthStar uses the free memory screenings as a way to educate the public and provide families with lots of additional resources after a diagnosis. HealthStar also provides a free memory café, which is a social group for families and the person diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Families share their successes and challenges, and gain much needed support. Our biggest concern is that the public isn’t aware that this type of care is available for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients, and that it is covered by insurance.

Memory Screenings – Proof the Public Wants to Know!

People have mixed feelings about taking a memory screen. Fifty percent of the public told us they didn’t want to know even if they do have memory loss related to dementia and the other half that have been affected in some way by Alzheimer’s or dementia said they wished they would have known to get checked sooner and thanked us for being at the fair. One family in particular that had a memory screening during the fair decided to take our advice and have follow up with their physician after their mother scored poorly on the memory screen. Two days later, the daughter returned to our booth to thank us for being at the fair. She said, had we not been there, she never would have known her mother was having difficulties as it was not something that was discussed openly nor something she had detected on her own. This is very common among children with aging parents. During the two days after the screening, the daughter took her mother to the doctor and the doctor agreed further testing and screening was recommended. Both the daughter as well as the doctor were very glad they had taken the time to take the screening as the mother would now receive the appropriate care she needed. We had another gentleman stop by, who stated he had been having memory concerns for several months and every time he spoke to his family and co-workers about it they would pass it off as normal aging. After meeting with us, he realized the symptoms he described were in fact something he should talk with his doctor about. Before leaving, he thanked us for being at the fair and said he felt better now that he had someone that seemed to understand and validate what he had been experiencing and planned to schedule a doctor’s visit.

Face-to-face memory screenings average three minutes and consist of questions and tasks to assess memory. HealthStar and the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America encourages screenings for adults with memory concerns, a family history of Alzheimer’s disease or those who want to check their memory now and have the baseline results for future comparison. Unfortunately, there’s a large gap in education. There are many reasons for memory loss that are treatable such as vitamin deficiency, thyroid issues, changes in medication, stress and many others to name a few. Once the public was made aware during our time at the fair that there might be a treatable cause, they were more at ease and we saw a big jump in the number of people deciding to take the memory screen. We want to raise public awareness and take the fear out of being screened. Early diagnosis and treatment can substantially help during early onset whereas treatment in later stages of the disease aren’t as beneficial.

70% of families diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia keep their loved one at home until it’s time to move them into a nursing facility. For many with Alzheimer’s or dementia, they will spend several years at home under the care of a family member or other caregiver before the need to move to a higher level nursing facility is required. The behaviors that accompany this disease can be very overwhelming and many families do not have the financial means to cover some of the costs of care so they suffer through the journey alone and often alienated from friends and family that eventually pull away. Changes in healthcare, due to high prevalence of the disease, allow our nursing experts to provide training, education and non-pharmacologic behavior assistance in the home to families and caregivers, which is 100% covered by traditional Medicare and most insurance plans. The public as well as many healthcare professionals are not aware of this available resource.

It is even available to those under the age of 65, if they’ve been diagnosed by a doctor. Family and caregiver burnout rises dramatically when faced with this disease. We had a family member call a few weeks ago, who was completely at their wits end from trying to care for their loved one. When the family member called to ask for help the caregiver’s comment was, “I know I shouldn’t be saying this, but it would be so much easier if he wasn’t here anymore.” Some of the behaviors exhibited by a person with Alzheimer’s or dementia are: agitation, aggression, sundowning, sexual inappropriateness, wandering, hallucinations, repetitiveness, screaming, paranoia, and accusations of infidelity or family members stealing from them. These are very traumatizing behaviors for families who don’t know how to deal with them. The main reason for this is due to the fact that they haven’t been taught how to manage these behaviors at home or how to work with the disease instead of working against the disease. This is a very real problem that we often encounter and families don’t know where to turn to receive more help and available resources. After being in the home and working with the emotionally and physically drained family caregiver, she informed us that she had been dealing with this on her own for four years and had tried several resources but none were able to help in a way that supported her needs. She was extremely grateful and felt better equipped to continue caring for her loved one.

HealthStar uses the free memory screenings as a way to educate the public and provide families with lots of additional resources after a diagnosis. HealthStar also provides a free Memory Café which is a social group for families and the person diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Families share their successes and challenges and gain much needed support. Our biggest concern is that the public isn’t aware this type of care is available for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients or that it is covered by insurance.

For additional information on dementia and caregiving check out Alzheimer’s Speaks