ROCKINGHAM – According to the Alzheimer’s Association’s official research center, one out of every 10 Americans over the age of 65 suffers from the progressive brain disorder. Currently, there are five and a half million Americans who are battling the disease, two thirds of whom are women, which destroys brain cells and causes the loss of cognitive abilities such as memory and brain functions.
In an effort to combat the most common form of dementia, Community Home Care Hospice of Rockingham recently held a social support gathering. The first “Haven at The Hive” event, held at The Hive in Rockingham, served as platform to give information and support to local families who are being affected by the crippling disease, which has seen an 89 percent rise in diagnoses since 2000.
“We at Community Hospice are in hopes that this will serve as a resource to the community, as well as allow for relationships to be built among caregivers who too often get burnt out and have no one to talk to,” said Tonya Butts, who is the Hospice Care Consultant. “This is another one of the many events Community Hospice has begun in order to reintroduce themselves in the community as a pillar of support.”
As there is still much more to learn about Alzheimer’s, a condition that is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, CHCH hopes that the monthly events will educate people about treatment and care options, as well as allow them to share ideas, experiences and support with others who are dealing with similar situations. Though someone in America develops the disease roughly every 66 seconds, no two people will experience the exact same journey.
More often than not, terms like “Alzheimer’s disease”, “memory impairment,” and “dementia” are frightening and unsettling. And with no cure, or effective treatment in stopping dementia from progressing, families and caregivers can often feel alone or confused in their endeavors when assisting a loved one with memory loss. In trying to ease these feelings, CHCH will host “Haven at the Hive” every third Wednesday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
With a large community presence, those who attended were welcomed with free coffee and light refreshments that were donated by Food Lion in Hamlet. The grocery store donated the refreshments in memory of Rose Pruitt Thompson, who was a dedicated manager for 15 years. Fliers and pamphlets, coupled with the expertise of staff members, offered information and support to those searching for help and understanding.
A main topic of discussion at the event was how Alzheimer’s disease not only negatively affects those who have it, but as well as the family members and medical workers who relentlessly provide care to patients. Nearly 35 percent of caregivers have reported their own deteriorating health problems as a result of caring for someone with Alzheimer’s, as compared to only 19 percent of those who treat all other illnesses.
Research and development continue to be conducted in hopes of finding a cure to the disease. Until that happens, events such as this, and organizations like CHCH, are essential in trying to improve the quality of life of those who are suffering.
For more information regarding future “Haven at The Hive” events, please contact Community Home Care Hospice at (910) 895-2871.