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Thornhill Manor generates Alzheimer’s awareness

Rand Aid’s Thornhill Manor retirement village is planning ahead for International Alzheimer’s Day, which takes place on 21 September.

“We started to raise awareness early this year, by hosting a tea where Thornhill Manor resident and pianist Gretha Pecoraro played for the other residents,” says Karen Griessel, Thornhill Manor’s social worker. “It was a beautiful recital that was nostalgic and heartfelt.”

At the function, Karen shared some key facts and statistics from the World Health Organisation (WHO) about dementia and Alzheimer’s with the residents.

WHO reports that over 55 million people worldwide have dementia, with 10 million new cases reported each year.

“Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, contributing 60% to 70% of the cases, and is a major cause of dependency and disability in the elderly,” says Karen.

She also shared some prevention tips with the residents, namely staying physically active, not smoking, avoiding alcohol and medication abuse, controlling weight, eating a healthy diet, and maintaining healthy blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Other risk factors include depression, social isolation and cognitive inactivity, says Karen.

Thornhill Manor residents Gretha Pecoraro, Val Tyrteous, Vicky Keenan and Eunice de Jager.

Thornhill Manor offers residents various opportunities and preventative health services which may help to curb dementia, including routine health checks to monitor blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar. Vitamin injections are also offered.

“In addition, our residents have various opportunities to socialise, interact and engage in challenging things, such as quizzes, and they can practice their hobbies and learn new skills,” says Karen.

The retirement village also offers various activities, with something to suit everyone, from art classes to card making and games, such as bridge, Rummikub and Scrabble. There’s also a garden club for those with green fingers, and a Knit & Knatter group.

“We have a bountiful library and book club that residents can join. Reading and discussions are a great way to fire up brain activity,” says Karen.

Vicky Keenan, Karen Griessel and Gretha Pecoraro.

The retirement village’s Happy Chatter’s occupational therapy group, which meets every Monday, enjoys a range of activities, games, activities, movements and walking to get the brain and body flowing. “Every week is new and fun,” says Karen.

For its male residents, the Man Cave group is always looking for helping hands to assist in carpentry, wood repairs, knife sharpening and many other projects.

In addition, Thornhill Manor offers various opportunities to exercise, such as weekly exercise and chair classes and, in summer, water aerobics and swimming. There are also line dancing, table tennis and snooker.

For those who love peace and tranquillity, there are various beautiful walks in the village’s lush gardens.

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