Alzheimer’s researchers from Florida Gulf Coast University are sharing what they’ve learned at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference this weekend in Washington DC.
Keeping people with Alzheimer’s physically and mentally active appears to delay progress of the disease. That’s what Dr. Linda Bittner and her colleague Sue Fitzsimmons at the Center for Positive Aging have determined through analysis of data they collected in Charlotte County. The two have designed classes for people with memory loss. Bitner says those classes – which are taught five days a week – integrate people with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia into the general community.
“It’s a dignified way to provide programs and services – usually people who have memory loss problems are segregated into adult daycares – or something like that – and our folks are right here in the community taking classes on brain fitness and physical fitness – various things that will keep them socially active.”
Dr. Bitner and Fitzsimmons have found that after “taking classes” for a year, 33 percent of the “students” had maintained their conditions without deteriorating and 33 percent had actually improved. Bittner says the program is the only like it. However – that may not be the case for much longer – more than a thousand people from all over the world are attending the International Alzheimer’s Conference. I’m Valerie Alker reporting.
Monday, 20 June 2005 01:00