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Volunteers learn warning signs of Alzheimer’s, celebrate the holidays

Blair Senior Services Inc. held its monthly in-service for Foster Grand-parent and Senior Companion volunteers Dec. 18 at the Hollidays-burg American Legion Post 516 Social Hall.

Volunteers listened to Jill Curtis, education and outreach coordinator from the Alzheimer’s Associ-ation Greater Pennsyl-vania Chapter and celebrated the holidays with festive activities.

The in-service began with Curtis discussing the “10 Warning Signs of Dementia,” as well as “Coping With the Holidays.”

“It was so important to speak to this group of volunteers today about the warning signs of dementia because not only do they need to know for themselves, but also for the people they are working and interacting with,” Curtis said. “A lot of the time, when you’re in someone else’s home as these volunteers may be, people are a lot more natural and you’re going to be able to pick up on some of the little changes in them that may be leading to dementia.”

Curtis also stressed knowing and understanding brain health for everyone. “We all have a brain and we’re all aging, and those are two things we can’t control,” Curtis said. “But what we can do is stay aware and know the symptoms, because a lot of the time this can lead people to the doctor early on to get an accurate diagnosis. Sometimes, we’re seeing depression or hypertension being diagnosed instead of Alzheimer’s, and the only way to stop that is to talk about the symptoms and the proper steps of getting to the doctor.”

Volunteers received resourceful information about dementia and the Alzheimer’s Association.

The remainder of the in-service was spent celebrating with a holiday party.

Volunteers enjoyed entertainment by Bob Onkst while participating in a holiday tree decorating competition by AseraCare Hospice, entering in door prizes, having photo booth fun and enjoying a catered lunch by Catered Affairs.

Founded in 1974 as the Area Agency on Aging for Blair County, Blair Senior Services Inc. is a private, nonprofit corporation designed to meet the needs of older adults living in Blair County.

In addition, Blair Senior Services serves residents of all ages through diverse programming and contracts that help provide transportation, assessments and volunteering. Their professional staff, volunteers and Board of Directors are dedicated to the principles and values of dignity, empowerment, advocacy and respect.

For more information on the volunteer in-service or volunteer programs, call 946-1235 or visit www.blairsenior.org.

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