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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Alzheimer’s disease. Dementia. Behavior and personality changes. Memory loss and related problems challenge a growing number of Americans.
Novant Health neurologist Andrew Evans
said he can relate with many of their situations. Not only has he seen memory
issues in plenty of patients over the years, but he saw dementia symptoms up
close growing up when his grandmother moved in with his family. Although Dr.
Evans said his grandmother wasn’t officially diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease
— which he said was often the case at that time — the symptoms were all there
as his grandmother went through significant changes in behavior and eventually
didn’t recognize him and his mother.
“The more prepared you are for
different stages of this illness, the smoother it will be,” Dr. Evans said.
“Preparation will also relieve a lot of caregiver anxiety for patient families.
The hard decision for a lot of patients is do I put Mom or Dad in a nursing
home, do I take them into my home or do I strike down some of their
independence? I think the best situations I see are the ones where the patients
are collaborative with their families.”
Novant Health is opening Novant
Health Memory Care in Winston-Salem on Aug. 16. The new clinic, an idea whose
inspiration and design was a collaborative one among Evans and his colleagues —
many also personally touched by the condition in their families — will be
devoted solely to caring for patients who have memory issues, as well as caring
for those who are part of the patient’s support system. The new facility will
allow Novant Health the opportunity to bring specialized care into a single
location, as well as do the important work of integrating the relationship
between caregiver, patient and healthcare providers.
“We’re trying to make this as
comfortable to the patient as possible,” Evans said. “Patients with memory care
problems need a structured routine to help keep them calm and help them
remember to focus their day. We prepare for the worst and hope for the best and
making the clinic more homelike and comfortable helps the patient with all
Providers at Novant Health Memory
Care will include neuropsychologists Will Acree, PsyD, and Tiffini Morris,
PsyD. Also joining is geriatric nurse practitioner Karen Byrd, the practice’s
primary provider who comes to the clinic from Novant Health Stroke Bridge
Clinic and Novant Health Neurology in Kernersville. Dr. Acree comes to the
clinic from Novant Health Psychiatry.
The new clinic is warm and welcoming
and was designed with patients and families in mind. The walls are a soothing
shade of blue. Rather than the standard
exam beds patients are used to in most doctor’s offices, the new facility opted
to go with recliners, couches and love seats, to make patients and caregivers
feel more at home.
Health Memory Care is located at 140 Kimel Park Drive, Suite 102. The clinic is
open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Currently, the clinic is not
taking self-referrals and new patients must be referred from either a primary
care physician or a neurologist. For more information about the new clinic, please call
336-718-7300 or to find a neurologist or neurosurgeon near you, please visit
novanthealth.org/neuroprovider. Novant Health is committed to
memory care and focuses on providing patients and their families with the
support needed to cope with this life-changing illness.