Following the success of the first Fountain Hills Cares last summer, a special evening event is planned for Thursday, April 21st at 6:30 p.m. in the Fountain Hills Community Center, focusing on dementia and the caregivers who make a difference in the lives of those living with the disease.
According to the U.S. Census of 2020, 38 percent of residents in Fountain Hills are 65 or older. The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that 10% of persons 60+ have dementia nationally, and 50 percent of people over 85 have dementia. In Arizona alone, the association estimates that more than 140,000 Arizonans are living with dementia, which affects nearly 339,000 family caregivers. By 2025, these numbers may increase by 43 percent. (2019 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts & Figures)
The free Fountain Hills Cares presentation will feature Dementia Friends Information “Changing the Way People Think, Act and Talk about Dementia,” presented by Community Outreach Coordinator for FSL Foundation for Senior Living Nydia Montijo, MPH. FSL is a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to provide home and community-based services and to develop energy-efficient, affordable housing to promote health, independence, and dignity for all. With a long history of helping Arizona families with issues including health, hunger, aging, illness, loneliness, and substandard housing, FSL is committed to improving the quality of life for all Arizonans. To learn more about FSL programs and services, visit fsl.org.
“The question isn’t about whether or not you will run into someone with dementia, but when. If you want to be someone who can respond with respect for what they are going through and act in a way that is safe for both you and them, then this presentation is a must,” said Montijo.
Arizona has the second-highest growth rate for Alzheimer’s, the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S., and just one of the diagnosable dementias. Topics covered in this presentation include, Is dementia a normal part of aging? Do only older adults get it? Is it more than just a memory problem? What kind of quality of life can someone expect if diagnosed? Her presentation will help answer these questions and more, including what dementia is, the warning signs, and how to create an environment that is friendly to those diagnosed.
After caring for her parents for over seven years, she is passionate about caregiver issues. Montijo has been addressing health and human subjects for 40+ years- half of which has focused explicitly on older adult issues. She has a master’s degree in Public Health with an emphasis on Community Health Practice; her educational and personal experience as a caregiver makes her an ideal candidate to facilitate these educational experiences.