Senior Life

News & information for the seniors in our community

24-hour Elder Abuse hotline
(866) 800-1409 or TTY (888) 206-1327

Left; Michelle Sowell, right; Cathy Sparks

Lunch and Learn event addresses memory disorders and the soon-to-be-opened Copper Creek Cottages

Send a link to a friend  Share

[March 21, 2016]  LINCOLN - On Wednesday, March 16th, the Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce hosted a lunch and learn event in the community room at Timber Creek Village in Lincoln. The topic of the day centered on mind and memory disorders and was delivered by Copper Creek Cottages Senior Health Specialist Michelle Sowell and Regional Manager Cathy Sparks.

During the program, explanations were given for both disorders and key points for recognizing the illnesses were shared with attendees.

When considering whether or not a person may be suffering the onset of Alzheimer’s it can sometimes be difficult because some of the symptoms experienced are very similar to typical signs of aging. The problems can be recognized, when these typical issues of aging intensify. For example, as we age, it is typical that we might sometimes forget a name or an appointment. It is also typical that we might make an occasional error in our checkbooks. But with developing Alzheimer’s Disease, forgetful increases to a point where that one cannot keep track of daily activities without memory aids such as notes or reminders from family members. Also growing confusion and inability to work with numbers to a point where that the person finds it impossible to do tasks such as follow a recipe or understand a monthly bill, are signs that there is a bigger issue.

Another warning sign is that something typical that becomes atypical is the ability to understand and participate in conversations. Everyone from time to time loses their “train of through,” but if the problem becomes so intense that the person is unable to complete a conversation at all, that could be a sign of a much larger problem.

When these bigger problems start, it can result in personality changes within the victim of the illness. Victims may become confused, suspicious of friends and family, fearful and anxious. They may also withdraw from social situations and lose interest in favorite activities or hobbies.

For family dealing with an Alzheimer’s victim, witnessing these changes in loved ones can be very difficult. They may feel that the person they love and care about is gone.

The women shared a handout of a poem by Tara Reed about Alzheimer’s

If Alzheimer’s could speak

Talk to me….
I can hear your words and they still touch my soul.

Smile at me….
My eyes can see you and feel your heart even if I don’t remember how to smile back.

Hold my hand….
I can feel your energy when your hands connect. It makes me feel safe and less alone.

Love me…
My heart can feel your love even if my words can’t express mine.

Live your life….
Help me on my path but don’t press pause on your life. Be the vibrant person I know and love.

Trust the process…
I know this is hard and not what we planned but trust the process. We can’t control it, but we can choose our focus. Remember the good times, know that I am ok and that you are always in my heart.

In understanding Dementia, it was explained that the disorder is caused by damage to the brain. They specific symptoms displayed will depend upon the area of the brain that is affected.

Symptoms of Dementia are very similar to those of Alzheimer’s and may include “Day to day memory, concentration, planning, making decisions, problem-solving, or carrying out a sequence of tasks such as cooking a meal.”

[to top of second column]

Signs of Dementia may include changes in mood, hallucinations, and delusions. Dementia is a progressive disorder, so as time goes by, symptoms will worsen.

Dementia will also have physical effects on victims. As time progresses, the person may show significant weight loss and increased weakness of the muscles. The will also become very limited verbally.

There is no cure for Dementia nor is there a specific treatment for the disease. Therefore, it is important to give the best care possible under the circumstances, something that can take its toll on family members as they strive to be the caregiver for their ailing loved one.

The discussion moved on to how the professional staff at Copper Creek Cottages will be able to assist the victim and family members. They will provide a safe, caring environment, in a setting will help assure as much independence as possible for the patient, while still keeping a caring eye on the progress of their illness.

The facility, now under construction behind Timber Creek Village and Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital, will offer “home-like” living for up to 33 residents. The layout will include one-bedroom studio style apartments and also two bedroom apartments. The facility will also provide ample community space for socialization and secured outdoor spaces as well.

Services to residents will include 24-hour care, emergency call response systems, activities and walking paths, medication management and health evaluations by licensed nurses.

Lifestyle services will include freshly prepared meals and snacks, housekeeping service and laundry service.


Caring staff specializing in the care of people with Alzheimer’s and Dementia will be on hand at all time. Nurses will be on hand consistently from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and available on call from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. daily.

Copper Creek Cottages is scheduled to open either late May or early June. Anyone who wishes to learn more about the facility and services offered may contact Cathy Sparks at 217-821-7068 or call 217-651-8364. Interested persons might also want to learn more through the Copper Creek website 

[Roy Logan/Nila Smith]

< Senior Life index page

Back to top