Dementia’s Cost to the U.S. Piles Up

Dementia is one of the most expensive medical conditions. Direct medical costs for treating dementia is estimated at $109 billion in 2010. Unlike other diseases dementia also has significant costs related to unpaid care provided by family members and caregivers. These numbers provide a reality check into the financial burden that dementia can cause families.

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Local Artist Leaves Legacy to Lawrence

A prolific artist and well-known downtown shoe cobbler, James Patti is still remembered for his extraordinary sculptures. Patti chose sculpture over other artistic mediums because he believed in its unlimited possibilities. He studied and worked with the late Bernard (Poco) Frazier and with Professor Elden Tefft at the University of Kansas. Patti served as executive director for the Kansas Sculptors Association and initiated community events such as the Downtown Lawrence Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition and carving workshops teaching sculpting techniques and methods. During his career, Patti created many notable masterpieces that are on public display in Lawrence.
In connection with the 1976 Bicentennial celebration, Patti created a statue of American writer and social activist Langston Hughes. The statue portrays Hughes as a boy delivering the Saturday Evening Post and holding a book by W.E.B. Du Bois. Patti made the structure using a twelve- piece mold coated with bronze colored polyester resin and filled with polyester resin, silicate sand, and marble dust. Today it is on display at the Watkins Museum.

Langston Hughes statue

In 1982, ABC-TV commissioned Patti to make a life-sized plaster statue of a pioneer man for the television movie, “The Day After.”   Since the producers planned to film the sculpture and then later destroy it in a subsequent scene, Patti used impermanent materials such as water pipe, Styrofoam and plaster.

Pioneer statue

In 1988, Patti designed a buffalo statue permanently located at the intersection of Clinton Parkway and Lawrence Avenue.  Patti and members of the Kansas Sculptors Association sculpted the buffalo from 4 tons of stone.  Today the neighborhood lovingly decorates the buffalo to celebrate festive seasons.

Buffalo sculpture

On March 10, 2013, Patti received special recognition for his artwork memorializing Leo Beuerman, a Lawrence icon. Beuerman’s life story became famous in a 1969 Academy Award-nominated film.  Standing 3 feet tall, Beuerman was unable to walk or speak clearly, and he was deaf and nearly blind.  He made his living selling pencils, pens and other items from a handmade cart that he parked on downtown Lawrence streets.   Years-ago, Patti designed a bronze plaque and unglazed ceramic sculpture in Beuerman’s memory.  The City of Lawrence is preparing to relocate the iconic plaque and sculpture to a new location in a downtown flowerbed. During the transition, Frank Janzen, Kim Tefft and friends brought the items to Patti’s Bridge Haven home so he could see them again.  Patti recognized both items and exclaimed, “I made that!”  An upcoming reception is in the works to commemorate Beuerman’s legacy and to honor Patti for his contribution.

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Care Cottage New Amenities

Did you know that Bridge Haven Care Cottage expanded its building and its services?

New Care Cottage amenities include two additional private bedrooms, an all-seasons sunroom, a secured backyard with an expansive walking path, a fully accessible bathroom with a roll-in shower, and an enhanced security system for added peace of mind.

Bridge Haven Care Cottage Backyard


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Shop Smart for Memory Care

Shopping for the right long-term memory care placement for your loved one can take time. When you know what important questions to ask, you can make better decisions. Here is an important question you should consider:

Is the memory care building or unit on one level?                                    

It is preferable to have one level because stairs or elevators may increase disorientation and the risk of falling.

Want more important questions to ask when shopping for memory care?

Get a checklist

Posted by your friends at Bridge Haven

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4 Lifestyle Changes Families Notice During the Holidays

For many people, the holidays are marked with expected seasonal stressors such as social obligations, travel hassles, holiday decorating, year-end deadlines, crowded malls, money worries and family gatherings.   But despite the added pressures, many people cherish the holiday season because it represents valuable time spent  celebrating with family and reconnecting with one another.  For families with aging or elderly parents, the holiday get-together is often the trigger alerting the family that parents are struggling to care for themselves.  In fact, “family members who don’t see parents regularly may actually be better able to recognize physical or mental decline or small changes in wellbeing, “says Judy Bellome, C.E.O. of Visiting Nurses.   “This time of year families really are able to check on their aging relatives.  Maybe a grandchild comes home from college to recognize grandma has lost significant weight, or an invitation to have dad over for a holiday meal reveals he is walking slower than usual,” says Bellome.  When this occurs, she suggests that families look for the following:


Changes in Health

  • Unexplained bruising
  • Weight loss
  • Difficulty walking or getting up from a seated position
  • Forgetting medications or taking more pills than the prescribed dosage

Changes in Wellbeing

  • Loss of interest in family, friends or favorite activities
  • Missed appointments, especially important doctor visits
  • Changes in mood or lack of emotional control
  • Forgetfulness, confusion or frustration doing routine tasks

Changes in Appearance

  • Unpleasant body odor from infrequent bathing
  • Decline in grooming habits such as forgetting to comb or style hair
  • Bad breath from lack of tooth brushing
  • Wearing wrinkled, disheveled or dirty clothing

Changes in Household

  • Spoiled food
  • Laundry piling up
  • Dirty dishes stacked in the kitchen sink and on counter tops
  • Excessive visible debris on carpeting or flooring
  • Insects or ant infestation
  • Stacks of unopened mail, late payment notices or calls from bill collectors
  • Strong foul smell in the home

Recognizing these deficiencies is the key to taking action.  If several of these warning signs are present, experts advise families to proactively discuss the necessary steps to help keep their loved ones safe and healthy.  Families might begin discussing concerns such as whether or not parents will be safe at home during the winter months, or whether they will be able to visit regularly, even in dangerous weather.

“Our Private Duty program helps seniors in their homes with non-medical needs such as laundry, housekeeping, or grocery store runs.  We see a lot more need for this service during the holidays because caretakers want to make sure they have the best care possible for their parents,” says Bellome.

Robert Wilson has similar sentiments.  “Bridge Haven experiences a dramatic increase in referrals and inquiries this time of year,” says Robert Wilson, executive director for an assisted living and memory care community in Lawrence.  “Reaching out to help vulnerable elders before difficulties occur may prevent future falls, fractures, or seasonal illness that could mean a trip to the emergency room.  Families typically discuss alternate care options when parents are no longer safe at home and would benefit from full-time care, “ says Wilson.

“With services like these, there comes a price. But there is one thing you can’t put a price on, and that is the health and safety of your loved one,” says Celia Patti whose husband recently moved into Bridge Haven assisted living.  This is exactly what many families begin thinking about during the holiday season.  Providing a stable and safe environment for their family members is first priority for her.  “It is so important Jim is cared for in a comfortable and safe environment,” says Celia Patti.

Many families find this living environment actually enriches their time together because they are not spending time doing chores for loved ones, ” says Robert Wilson.  Knowing and recognizing these four lifestyle changes is key to keeping loved ones safe and healthy, in the winter season, and all year round.



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