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BEACON Senior News - Western Colorado

Thank God for Grandparents

Aug 30, 2022 09:53AM ● By Cloie Sandlin

My dad was in Texas when he was diagnosed with dementia in his early 60s. My parents had been divorced for several years, and my mom had since remarried and moved us to Colorado. 

I wasn’t around to witness my dad’s decline, but my grandmother (we called her Granny), who was well into her 80s, would call with updates. 

Granny was very patient with my father as the disease progressed. After all, this wasn’t
her first tango with a family member with dementia. My grandfather had also died from Alzheimer’s. 

I’ve learned a lot about dementia and Alzheimer’s in the years since my dad died, but there’s a lot that experts still don’t know, including how to prevent it or how to slow it down. Until a cure is found, the local Alzheimer’s Association in Grand Junction is a tremendous resource, offering care consultations, support groups and education programs for individuals and families across the western slope—all for free. 

Whether or not you know someone who’s been affected by dementia or Alzheimer’s (it’s likely that you have), you can raise funds for Alzheimer’s research and support services at the Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Saturday, September 24 at Lincoln Park in Grand Junction. (The Montrose Walk was in August).

Our brains change as we age, but Alzheimer’s is NOT a normal part of aging. If you have concerns about a loved one’s memory or your own, read five questions to ask your doctor.

Grandparents Day is September 11

For my father struggling with Alzheimer’s, my grandmother was a godsend. Equally, she helped raise me and my two sisters. 

Good grandparents are those who fill in the parenting blanks. So on National Grandparents Day, which is September 11, please let these important role models know just how much they mean to you. And for you grandparents out there, thank you for your love, patience and wisdom. Your guidance and encouragement last a lifetime. 

I can save your life!

I’m not sure if Rudy Malesich and Fidel Garcia are grandparents, but in addition to saving countless lives, these former emergency medical professionals have impacted the lives of more than 6,000 local high school students. Both men hope that students all over Colorado will pay-it-forward by saving lives, thanks to the CPR training they receive through Garcia and Malesich’s PULSE program. Read more in this month’s cover story

Montrose-Delta BeaconFest is September 15

BeaconFest is our way of saying thank you for reading the BEACON. Come see us at the funnest (it’s a word—look it up) senior event at the Montrose Pavilion from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. on Thursday, September 15! Free admission, live entertainment, food and seminars await! Plus, BeaconFest is your best opportunity to visit directly with more than 60 local businesses and national agencies devoted to helping you age well in western Colorado. 

For more information about this year’s show, visit or call 970-243-8829. 

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