Tiffany Mann has been with the Alzheimer’s Association for a little over a year. She is the Senior Manager of Programs and Education for the Middle Tennessee office. Tiffany has her Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling and she enjoys helping those affected by Alzheimer’s disease in their journey. She has been working in the mental health field for the last 7 years. Tiffany is originally from Kentucky and is married with one son.
Q: My mother seems to be forgetting things a lot more these last few months. Is it Alzheimer’s Disease?
A. There are going to be normal memory changes as we age. Just as our bodies age our brains are going to age as well. Forgetting where you parked your car or where you put your keeps are normal memory slips, as well if we are under a lot of stress our brain may not function as well as it should. Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias become a concern when memory changes and confusion start to interrupt daily life. For example if someone begins to have trouble with normally familiar tasks, like on the job or in leisure activities, that could be a sign that something more serious than normal memory changes are occurring. You can review the 10 Warning Signs for Alzheimer’s disease at http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_know_the_10_signs.asp.
Q: There is Alzheimer’s in my family. What steps can I take to prevent getting it?
A. There are several preventative steps to take that can encourage brain health. Manage your numbers!! Keep your weight, cholesterol, and diabetes under control. Eat healthy and exercise. Stay social and take on new hobbies. Protect your head by wearing a helmet when riding a bike, fall-proof your home, and wear a seatbelt in the car. A Mediterranean diet, low in red meat, has been shown to have positive effects. Bottom line, what’s good for your heart is good for you brain. Stay away from smoking and anything else that could be harmful to your body or brain. Invest in your brain now!!
Q: I am caregiving for my husband who has dementia, and I am his only caregiver. Are there any resources out there for me to get help as his caregiver?
A. Yes, the Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization fighting for prevention, cure, and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. The Alzheimer’s Association provides anyone affected by Alzheimer’s disease with resources, education, and support. They can connect you with respite resources, so you may get a time of rest away from your loved one. There are also support groups through the association that provide you with others who understand what you are going through. The Alzheimer’s Association is always available, locally at 615-292-4938 and through our toll free 24/7 Helpline at 1-800-272-3900.