Alzheimer’s Can’t Be Fixed
Courtesy Legacy Assisted Living and Memory Care, Texoma LIVING WELL Magazine
Many of us are so frightened at the prospect of Alzheimer’s that we ignore behaviors that could be indicative of the disease, hoping the symptoms will fade or making excuses to avoid the issue. Yet, people often say they wish they had sought a diagnosis and treatment for a loved one sooner, having waited until something horrendous happened that forced a realistic assessment of the situation.
Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease and while medications may help with symptoms, there is no cure at present. Every person stricken with the disease experiences it differently, and other health conditions may exacerbate problems.
Despite the reluctance to learn the truth about an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, families are encouraged to get the advice of physicians and mental health professionals as soon as they observe symptoms. There are many tough decisions that will need to be made. One important consideration is housing.
“We understand how challenging it is for families,” says Steve Streun, owner, Legacy Assisted Living and Memory Care. “We see it almost every day. Certainly they want their loved one to be well cared for and happy and that’s where we can provide much-needed assurance.
“Many are uncomfortable making the decision to move mom or dad, perhaps having promised that ‘a home’ would never enter the equation. But the fact is, with Alzheimer’s, finding appropriate care is the family’s responsibility and once they accept that role––and it feels uncomfortably misplaced when mom or dad have always been an active part––then the patient can be safely and lovingly cared for and the family can be confident in doing what is most beneficial for their loved one.”
There are seldom easy answers. Streun, who expresses his strong Christian faith easily, says that to be frank, the earlier the decision is made to get help for mom or dad, the better it is for everybody. “Families have to be realistic about what they’re dealing with. There is so much that happens that families simply have no control over. One of the things we try to help with is the realization that Alzheimer’s can’t be fixed. Families need support and we’ll go on this journey with them and with the person they love.”
One of the things that seems to matter most to families is that Legacy is a small, locally owned facility, with 11 private rooms with exterior views and a high resident-staff ratio. It sits on wooded acreage and has a long front porch equipped with rockers.
Steve and his wife, Kimberly, have created a homey atmosphere with comfortable gathering places, a piano, a hair and nail grooming station, a large kitchen, and even a luxurious private spa room. Home-style meals are cooked and served every day, with careful attention to dietary restrictions or special needs. They consider Legacy an ideal place for those who want to know that their mom or dad is cared for with sensitivity, expertise and kindness at all times. “We deliver on that promise,” he says, “helping residents live meaningfully, with purpose and productivity.”
The Streuns communicate their enthusiasm for life to residents, family members and guests. “We aren’t just a facility,” Streun says. “We’re a family. And it’s not just that we have 11 rooms for our residents, but that each unit is occupied by a person with a name, a history and the opportunity to experience blessings every day.”
So while family members may feel that they have “lost” their loved one to Alzheimer’s, the Streuns cultivate and celebrate the person who is, as well as appreciating the person who was.
For more information about Legacy Assisted Living and Memory Care, call 903-337-1625. For more information about Alzheimer’s go to www.alz.org or www.alz.org.
Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s
- Memory loss that disrupts daily life
- Challenges in planning or solving problems
- Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure
- Confusion with time or place
- Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
- New problems with words in speaking or writing
- Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
- Decreased or poor judgment
- Withdrawal from work or social activities
- Changes in mood and personality