Learning about memory loss

Morgan Meissner of Siouxland Memory Center will be among the speakers at the Memory Loss Lunch and Learn on Aug. 26 in Hull. 

HULL—Memory loss can be difficult to deal with and caregivers can sometimes feel overwhelmed, but there are support options available in N’West Iowa.

Sioux Center Health is hosting a free informative Memory Loss Lunch and Learn in Hull on Monday, Aug. 26.

“We are excited about it,” said Laurel Clarey, nurse manager of home-based services for Sioux Center Health. “Within our organization we have identified a lot of experts in the field of memory loss. It seems like everybody is touched by dementia in some way. This is a neat opportunity for us to give back to the community and help families walk alongside their loved ones on this journey.”

There will only be room for 75 people to attend the event. Clarey said they are taking reservations and there will be a variety of subjects discussed and speakers featured.

Morgan Meissner, physician assistant at the Siouxland Memory Center, a division of Sioux Center Health, will speak about “Understanding Dementia” at the event.

“This is about understanding memory loss, understanding dementia,” she said. “Specifically, my objective is to help people know when is the right time to seek help, how a diagnosis is made, how to differentiate between dementia versus the normal aging process, dementia stages and various types of dementia.”

Some different types of dementia that Meissner will talk about are:

  • Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Cumulative brain damage leading to dementia.
  • Frontotemporal dementia.
  • Lewy body dementia.
  • Parkinson’s disease-associated dementia.
  • Vascular dementia.

Meissner said not everyone with a memory problem has a form of dementia. Some people might have a disorder or a deficiency that is causing memory loss.

She said it is important to rule out everything before a diagnosis of dementia is given.

Dementia always has been near and dear to Meissner and the condition has had an effect on her family.

“I have always had a heart for the elderly and geriatric,” she said. “It is a blessing to help those affected by memory loss.”

Other topics of discussion and speakers at the Lunch and Learn will be:

  • “Functional Changes in Speaking, Chewing and Swallowing,” speech therapist Patty Halse.
  • “Hospice and Home Care Role with a Dementia Patient,” social worker Amy Ross and registered nurse Judy Breuer,
  • “My Past is Now My Future,” occupational therapist Andrew Ge­­leynse.
  • “Nutrition’s Impact on Life Satisfaction for Those with Dementia,” dietitian Danielle Nanke.

Meissner said the speakers will be able to provide a wide variety of information due to their background in varied health-care professions.

“This is something special for Sioux Center Health to offer because there are so many sharing their knowledge,” Meissner said.