Assisted Living Facilities Manager,
Hacienda at the Canyon
Thursday, December 18, 2019,
The Arizona Senior Academy Building
Perhaps the most feared debility of old age is that of incapacitating dementia, whether Alzheimer’s disease or some other deteriorating condition of the mind. Even after many years of research, there are no definite answers about the causes, prevention, or cure for dementias. Recognizing signs of oncoming dementia are a preoccupation of many, to the point that common “accidents” of memory—misplaced car keys, forgetting why you came into a particular room, inability to remember common words or names of friends—can cause anxiety and stress.
Terri Waldman has had more than 25 years of experience of providing services and advocacy for older adults in Pima County. Her Masters in Social Work degree led her to a specialization in behavioral health, and her passion for helping people thrive propelled her to her current position at Hacienda at the Canyon. There she is responsible for the daily operation of the community’s state-licensed Assisted Living and Memory Care programs. Her previous roles have included Director of Generations, a senior mental health unit at El Dorado Hospital; and Director of Tucson Medical Center’s Geropsychiatric Unit, which provides short-term care for memory problems.
At ASA Terri will talk about signs of dementia, how we can notice if a loved one is beginning to show signs of mental changes, what we can notice in ourselves as we age, and what care is available for dementia patients. Terri’s approach is positive and “person-centered”: she believes that individuals living with Alzheimer’s Disease are “Buddhas on Earth” and that “from them we can learn that the present moment is life’s greatest gift.” Guiding both her practice and her life is the conviction that “five minutes of laughter a day creates a happy life.”
This program could be an eye-opener for those of us seeking insight into mental deterioration in old age.
Written by Ellen Poulson, Academy Village Volunteer