Monday, July 18, 2016

Memory Matters Utah Addresses Dementia Issues

LuAnn Lundquist, Executive Director of Memory Matters Utah, shared her experience and knowledge of the impact of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia on individuals, families and caregivers.  Washington County, UT is facing a community crisis of major proportions! As one of the most attractive and desirable retirement communities in the United States (based on numerous studies in the past several decades), the area in and around St. George has drawn countless numbers of residents over the age of 65, since the 1980’s to enjoy our mild fall, winter and springtime weather; our outstanding and award-winning health care; and, spectacular out amazing outdoor scenery and events.  As a result, more and more of our local residents are finding themselves – or their loved ones – dealing with the age-related diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.  Current estimates indicate there may be as many as 3500 residents in our area who have – but do not as yet know they have – one of these two life-changing medical conditions.  As a community, we are seeing a jump in the number of assisted living facilities with memory care units – newly opened or under construction; and, health care providers specializing in Alzheimer’s and dementia issues popping up here in Southern Utah where, by the year 2030 estimates are, more than 31% of our population will be over age 65. Statistics show an average of 10,000 “baby boomers” nationwide will age into Medicare – every day - until 2030.  Dixie Regional Medical Center, St. George’s Intermountain Health Care facility already has more than 50% of their patients on Medicare – with an expected increase by 60% in additional Medicare patients in the next 13 years.  

To address the unmet needs of our community’s rapidly growing Alzheimer’s and dementia population, the organization now known as Memory Matters Utah was organized “to reduce isolation and improve wellness for people with dementia and their caregivers through activities, support, education and consultation” for this difficult group of conditions which primarily affect those over age 65.

For more information, call (435) 319-0407.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Guatemala Stoves Now Total 2118

Working alongside the international non-profit organization ALDEA (Spanish for “village” and an acronym for Advancing Local Development through Empowerment and Action), five members of SGR along with family members and friends totaling 15 left St. George on May 25 for a week of "service above self" in Guatemala.  This 10th annual excursion once again took money, food, toys and services to create the opportunity to improve the health and well-being of rural families in Mayan villages in LaTrompeta, Chichoy Bajo, Salamit and San Lucas.

 Over the period of a week, this intrepid group of hardworking adventurers built or donated to the construction of 350 stoves – bringing the project total to 2,118 stoves with thousands of lives saved; taught newborn resuscitation to midwives; extracted dozens of teeth and provided exams and glasses to those in desperate need of such services.  Of course, Rotarians and their friends and family also set aside time for play and enjoying good food and sightseeing.
Those who made the nearly 3000-mile trip to this central American country were Dan and Cindy Strobell and their daughter Michelle, an ER nurse at Dixie Regional Medical Center; Ken and Barbara Sizemore and their youngest Shannon; Reed Noble, and his sons Jess (a return visitor to Guatemala from last year) Cody (a Las Vegas attorney) and Parks Noble (Cody's son and Reed's grandson); Phil Hall and his son, Jimmy (soon to be married and preparing for a career in dentistry); ophthalmologist Jason Hendrix and his son Colby; and Rotarian Dave Prisbrey.

Plans are already in the works for next year so start planning now to be part of this awesome experience.