Dear Teens:

Older adults, including myself and many others from my generation, sometimes celebrate our longevity in this world by sharing our life experiences with those who are younger and just getting started with adult life.

This month we aim to gain knowledge on how to celebrate the lives of those around us who are struggling with Alzheimer’s disease. Some 5.8 million American citizens are living with this sad disease, which affects their daily lives and those of their family members and caregivers as well.

Being educated and compassionate about Alzheimer’s provides a good foundation to help and appreciate those around us who greatly need some tender support and care in their senior years. Whenever possible, be kind to older adults in your community and volunteer your time to assist those around you who truly need it most.

Here are some of the basic signs of Alzheimer’s disease:

• Memory loss.

• Visual impairment.

• Speech and writing difficulty.

• Changes in mood or personality.

• Difficulty making connections and solving problems.

If you notice any of the above symptoms in older family members, friends or even acquaintances, step forward and seek to make a difference in an older adult’s life. Sometimes it is as easy as pointing out the situation to other adults who can take note and begin to take actions to help the person who needs it.

Dear Dr. Wallace: Now that the pandemic is just about over, I’ve been thinking a whole lot about the prom dance at my high school.

If I am lucky enough to get asked by someone to go to the prom, will I need to know how to dance? I ask because I’m not much of a dancer at all. My aunt even told me once that I have two left feet, whatever that means. I think she was putting me down since she saw me dancing to a song I like, and she was laughing and telling me I can’t dance.

— Nondancer Interested in the Prom, via email

Dear Nondancer Interested In The Prom: Don’t worry too much, as many teens don’t dance much if at all at their prom.

But if you do find yourself being led (or dragged!) out to the dance floor, I trust you’ll find that dancing with your date is pretty easy — just sway back and forth very slowly and you’ll pass the challenge as there’s a low bar when it comes to prom dancing skills. If you go, relax and have fun!

Write to Dr. Wallace at rwallace@galesburg.net.

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