Gardening & Living in Grand Style
Extension programs for dementia caregivers, free tax preparation…
by Michael Johnson
Utah State University Extension Agent, Grand County
Jan 11, 2018 | 650 views | 0 0 comments | 67 67 recommendations | email to a friend | print
We just had another one of those “what a snow” days didn’t we? We all really appreciate that added moisture but need more. Beyond garden issues we at the USU-Extension office provide information and help on a range of topics. Two upcoming programs that could help include a program on stress relief for caregivers of those with dementia and another for tax preparation, something that most of us have to deal with.

According to the Alzheimer’s Society, dementia is “a set of symptoms that may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language.” These issues might start small but could eventually affect daily life. Dementia isn’t just about Alzheimer’s disease, but could be caused by strokes or other diseases.

Last year I wrote an article now on The Times-Independent website titled “Use it or lose it, keeping dementia at bay” which discussed using brain-stimulating activities to decrease or delay the risk of dementia. Beyond those activities there are other ways to help decrease or delay your risk. These start with exercising, which benefits your body, your heart and your mental processes. According to a fact sheet recently published by USU-Extension and co-authored by Dr. Beth Fauth, exercise can also help your brain and memory as it, “improves the functioning of neurotransmitters … responsible for communication across brain cells.” This fact sheet is titled “Dementia Risk: Is it Nature or Nurture?” It mentions other positive activities such as eating a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts and legumes, connecting socially with others, handling stress in positive ways, improving your sleep and more. You can pick up a copy of this fact sheet at the office or check it out online.

Beyond letting you know of this fact sheet, there is a study being undertaken by Dr. Fauth concerning caregivers of those with dementia. Those who become involved in the program will learn research-based skills to help manage stress and be sure they are taking care of themselves as they provide care for loved ones. Lessons will be provided through your computer so there is no need to travel and it doesn’t take very long to work through a lesson. As an added benefit there is a small stipend for those who meet the criteria, enroll and finish the study. If interested call our office for more information.

Benjamin Franklin understood the issues with taxes when he wrote, “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Since 2009, USU-Extension in Grand County has provided an Internal Revenue Service Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site where IRS-certified preparers provide free tax preparation and information to help you better prepare for tax issues. We have helped individuals learn about how to adjust the amount of taxes taken out of their paychecks, the effects of 1099 and miscellaneous forms, small business tax issues and ways to save money to be sure you can pay any tax burden. For 2018, we will once again be offering a VITA site for those making less than $54,000. Call 435-259-7558 for more information or to make an appointment.

Previous articles can be found on The Times-Independent website. If you have a topic you would like to know more about call the USU-Extension Grand County office at 435-259-7558 or email Michael Johnson at mike.johnson@usu.edu.


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