Westhampton Walk, the Alzheimer’s Association and Dentures

Today was a perfect autumn day at Westhampton Beach for me to join 1,000 other Long Islanders who were walking 5k in support of the Alzheimer’s Association.  This organization (founded in 1980) provides information, creates supportive programs and services for families, gives resources for dementia research and influences changes in public policy.  They also provide services to assist the client and their families in dealing with the illness.   The National Contact Center provides a toll-free service, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  For more information, their website is http://www.alz.org/

Over five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease and one in eight older Americans has Alzheimer’s disease.  Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the US.  It is the only cause of death among the top 10 in the US that can’t be prevented, cured or slowed.  More than 15 million Americans provide unpaid care for people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

I was recently asked to make new dentures for a patient with dementia.  She was unable to chew properly and her old dentures did not stay in her mouth.  As she was unable to follow directions and assist in our record-taking, it was difficult to make adequate new dentures.  This was a challenge.  When I see patients like this, I try to work with their existing dentures, doing a reline or adjustment of the bite – keeping the treatment as simple as possible.  Getting used to new dentures is especially difficult for them.

Congratulations to Nancy Burner, Esq., (Setauket elder care lawyer) for initiating and helping to organize this wonderful walk to end Alzeimer’s.  Nancy (http://burnerlaw.com/) is an enthusiastic and committed advocate for Alzeimer’s research.  This was the first of what promises to be an annual event.  I hope to participate again next year and welcome you to join us!

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