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Patients, families battle Alzheimer’s, difficult decisions together

Published: Friday, November 10, 2017 @ 9:19 AM

            Some people genetically have a higher chance of getting Alzheimer’s. People with first-degree relatives (an individual’s parents, full siblings or children) with Alzheimer’s increases an individual’s own risk of having Alzheimer’s. For more information and resources in support of this type of care, visit (Courtesy photo)
Some people genetically have a higher chance of getting Alzheimer’s. People with first-degree relatives (an individual’s parents, full siblings or children) with Alzheimer’s increases an individual’s own risk of having Alzheimer’s. For more information and resources in support of this type of care, visit (Courtesy photo)

When the news is given to a patient and their family members that their loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, it can be devastating for some or motivating for others. Either way, Maj. (Dr.) Earl Banning, director of Neuropsychology at the Wright-Patterson Medical Center, stresses the importance of family members working together to deal with what lies ahead.

Some people genetically have a higher chance of getting Alzheimer’s. People with first-degree relatives (an individual’s parents, full siblings or children) with Alzheimer’s increases an individual’s own risk of having Alzheimer’s, according to Banning.

“Sometimes adult children are now coming in with their father and are worried about dementia. I’m delivering the news that this probably is Alzheimer’s. The children may remember what grandpa went through. They may remember grandpa’s decline and his later years in the nursing home when he didn’t recognize anybody. When they hear that news, it can be triggering to a lot of emotions, so family members may need therapy on their own just to process watching their parents go through this,” he said.

The decisions families have to make upon hearing this news are sometimes quite difficult, but Banning has a wealth of information he can provide them to help in dealing with the disease.

“For most of the people that come in, I’m telling them, ‘Let’s get all of your affairs in order. If you don’t have a will, let’s have a will. If you haven’t made decisions about property and things like that, let’s do that now because as people may lose cognitive functioning later on, you don’t want to be trying to make those decisions then.’”

After diagnosis, Banning also lets patients and their family members know it’s important to start making a long-term plan so that may mean going home, meeting with children and extended family members to understand the way ahead.

“If they have depression, I’ll refer them for counselling. Most of the older folks will be seen off-base typically, but getting them into therapy, putting them in touch with resources like the Alzheimer’s Association at, or the National Institute of Health website at These sites have resources about Alzheimer’s that explains it to people, as far as what it is, what the progression looks like, where their loved one is at.”

Some things Banning shares with patients may seem rather obvious, such as things parents tell kids to do, like eat right, sleep right, take care of yourself and exercise.

“Those are things that can help with that cognitive reserve and help to prolong people’s health. If you have uncontrolled diabetes, that will be a factor; if you have uncontrolled cardiovascular risk factors, high cholesterol, high blood pressure,” Banning said.

Taking care to make sure things are safe at home is another important step, he added.

“Some older folks live in older homes with multiple floor levels, which create falling hazards. Maybe it’s time for a one-level home. Head injuries can be a problem. If you’re already having some cognitive problems, the last thing you need is a head injury, so maybe we don’t need a bunch of steps in the house anymore. Moving furniture around so there are less things to trip over or fall on as you get older is important,” Banning said.

For some people, receiving the news of an Alzheimer’s diagnosis isn’t really a surprise.

“Family members are kind of prepared. We have the Internet now, which makes you always think you have health problems so family members read up about Alzheimer’s before the evaluation and they can probably tell you as much as I can about some of this stuff and are well aware of some of the recommendations,” Banning said.

He believes it’s important for the family to be involved and requests they come to the initial and feedback sessions to talk about the symptoms and what stage he thinks the person is in for Alzheimer’s. They discuss what to expect and Banning then points them in the direction of different resources such as support groups in the area that focus on provider fatigue.

“There’s a lot of issues that come along with taking care of a parent. Some people may have more resources than others. Sometimes it’s just a dad and a sibling – a son that lives in the area for instance. The wife has already passed away and there’s no other family to take on that care. Financial decisions, money, nursing homes, all those big things. Even if they’re not ready to go somewhere, and it may be a while – getting all those things worked out as a team now while the person has as much cognitive reserve as possible, rather than waiting until we see an alert for a lost adult,” said Banning.

“Sometimes it can be pretty devastating, for instance, something like a frontal temporal dementia looks very behavioral so the person may be acting manic and they may be doing things like buying a bunch of things online. For example, this one woman I worked with a while ago had these symptoms and had been diagnosed as bipolar and she and her husband came in to the neurology center to see me so that we could get an assessment battery. The hope was that if we could just get her meds right, she’s going to be OK,” Banning said.

However, the neuropsychology assessments revealed she had been misdiagnosed.

“You don’t get bipolar when you’re in your mid-60s. What was happening was that she had atrophy in her frontal lobe – she had frontal temporal dementia and that’s where your personality is. That’s where the breaks are. If you ever have like an impulsive thought, like maybe I can’t do that, maybe I can’t cut in front of the line. When the frontal lobe atrophies, those brakes don’t do that anymore so you have these behavior problems. I had to deliver the news to them that it’s a progressive disease, she has frontal temporal dementia, and she’s not coming back. It was pretty heart-wrenching for the family members,” he said.

Typically, that’s the case, Banning said, but for people in some variance of Alzheimer’s their awareness is pretty poor so they come in looking fine.

“They’re pretty happy when they come in,” said Banning. “I’ll ask them how they’re doing. They’ll say, ‘I’m doing OK.’ How’s your balance? ‘It’s fine.’ Well, you came in in a walker today. ‘Oh, I don’t need that thing.’ How’s home life? ‘It’s going great.’”

The older you get, the slower the decline will be.

“If you don’t get an Alzheimer’s diagnosis until well after 80, you’ll probably have a really slow decline and may die of other things before it really gets that bad,” Banning said.

Alzheimer’s disease is more likely to affect Americans as they grow older. Although genetics can play a part, age is the biggest risk factor. But Alzheimer’s touches many more individuals than just those who are diagnosed. Dedicated caregivers such as professionals, family members, or friends are also emotionally, physically and financially affected by the disease.

For more information and resources in support of this type of care, visit

Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of articles during National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. For the first article, go to

5 children hurt after bounce house goes airborne at church carnival

Published: Monday, April 10, 2017 @ 2:02 AM

Bounce house
Oktay Ortakcioglu/Getty Images/iStockphoto
Bounce house(Oktay Ortakcioglu/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Five children were hurt Saturday after high winds carried an inflatable “bounce house” into the air. Two children remained hospitalized Sunday, according to Springwell Church, the organization who rented two of the play structures for their annual Spring Carnival.

The church on Wade Hampton Boulevard in Taylors, South Carolina, issued a statement on Facebook on Saturday after the event, confirming that five children had been hospitalized after “an unexpected wind gust, out of our control, lifted an inflatable amusement that was on our campus for the event.” Video shot by an onlooker appears to show one of the structures flying into Wade Hampton Boulevard, a major transportation artery for the area.

>> Watch the news report here

FOX Carolina 21

The church updated its statement Sunday, writing: “Two children remain hospitalized, in stable condition, for the treatment of injuries sustained in yesterday’s accident. Our pastoral staff and church have been praying and continue to pray for all involved.”

One of the two structures that got loose drifted into power lines owned by Duke Energy, causing an outage for about 1,000 people. Crews immediately got to work to restore power, according to WHNS.

>> Read more trending news

At least one child had been hospitalized with a concussion and broken bones, according to a statement from a witness who told WHNS that she wished to remain anonymous. She wrote:

"Things happen Everyday that NO ONE can Explain. My Mom, My Husband and I watched this happen right in front of us. It was Terrifying. It Broke my heart knowing those kids could have died. With God watching over them the 5 kids that where Injured didn’t Die, 1 I know had broken bones and a concussion. The Whole event could have been worse."


Dayton Public Schools Superintendent Corr put on administrative leave

Published: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 @ 12:36 AM
Updated: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 @ 12:44 AM

Dayton Public School’s Superintendent Rhonda Corr was placed on administrative leave by Dayton’s school board just before midnight Tuesday after a long executive session.

RELATED: Harris fills Baguirov’s seat on Dayton school board

Elizabeth Lolli, associate superintendent, has been promoted to acting superintendent.

According to a DPS online video stream of the meeting, the school board approved four resolutions when they came out of closed executive session:

  • Approving a Nov. 21 report and recommendation of compliance officer Beverly Meyer concerning allegations of racial harassment and discrimination alleged against Corr and Lolli.
  • Relieving Corr of her duties as superintendent and placing her on paid administrative leave effective immediately.
  • Agreeing to issue a pre-disciplinary hearing notice to Corr, detailing the reasons for potential discipline.
  • Naming Lolli as acting superintendent, effective immediately, at the salary level set forth in Corr's current contract, but retaining the benefits set forth in Lolli's current contract.

On all four resolutions, the vote was 6-0. Board member Hazel Rountree was absent.

Corr could not immediately be reached by phone for comment.

Reached early Wednesday, school board member John McManus declined to say much.

"We have been advised by (legal) counsel that we are not permitted to comment on a pending matter," he said.

RELATED: Waynesville school issue passed by 7 votes, recount ahead

Corr was hired by DPS in June 2016 to her first full superintendent post after 25 years in Cleveland schools, then brief stints as a high administrator in the Chicago and Indianapolis school districts since 2013.

After Corr was hired, the district had some highlights — escaping the threat of state takeover, solving some long-running busing problems and improving textbooks, computer access and career tech options.

But during that same period, Dayton Public Schools were also put on OHSAA probation for trying to rig a football game, had a long, painful contract fight with teachers that nearly led to a strike and on the most recent state report card, ranked second to last in Ohio on state test scores.

After the teachers' contract fight was resolved, the teachers union issued a vote of no confidence in both Corr and the school board.

Four new school board members were elected Nov. 7 to four-year terms that will start in January. One of those four, William Harris, actually joined the board Tuesday night, appointed to fill the last six weeks of Adil Baguirov's term.

At Tuesday night's meeting, the "yes" votes to put Corr on leave came from four members who will remain on the school board next year -- Robert Walker, Sheila Taylor, John McManus and Harris -- plus the outgoing Ron Lee and Joe Lacey.

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to

Dayton traffic from the WHIO traffic center

Published: Tuesday, November 21, 2017 @ 3:56 AM
Updated: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 @ 1:01 AM

Staff photo
Staff photo

Check this page for a full list of crashes, disabled vehicles, construction projects and other hazards impacting your commute.

Traffic issues can be reported by calling our newsroom at 937-259-2237 or tweeting @WHIOTraffic .

Traffic conditions are updated every six minutes on AM 1290 and News 95.7 FM.

RELATED: Find the lowest gas prices in your neighborhood with our Pump Patrol

Major Highway Incidents

  • No incidents have been reported. 

Surface Street Incidents

  • No incidents have been reported. 

>> RELATED: Check for delays or cancellations before heading to the airport

>> RELATED: Track the latest conditions in your neighborhood on our live WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

Ongoing Construction & Other Closures 

Live look at highways on our traffic cameras here.

Latest traffic conditions are also available on our traffic map. 


  • Alex-Bell Road will be closed for work on the Washington Twp. bridge over Holes Creek until Nov. 30. More information, including detour information, is available here.
  • Stewart Street Ramp to US 35 East, RAMP CLOSURE March 28 - Sept 30, 2018. The official detour is: Stewart Street to Edwin C. Moses Boulevard to I-75 north to US 35 west to James H. McGee Blvd. to US 35 east
  • US 35 west ramps to I-75 north and south, RAMP CLOSURE Nov. 30 at 10 p.m. - Dec. 1 at 5 a.m. The official detour is: US 35 west to James H. McGee Boulevard to US 35 east to I-75 north and south 


  • SR 705 near Groff Road, Daily lane closures Nov. 27 - Dec. 11 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. One lane will remain open for travel in each direction through the use of flaggers.
  • SR 29 between Cisco Road and West Russell Road, Daily lane closures Nov. 27 - Jan. 1 between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. One lane will be open for travel in each direction through the use of flaggers. 

Christmas tree farms get healthy on good weather

Published: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 @ 12:11 AM

The inventory at the Advent Christmas Tree Farm in Englewood is looking good this season for those who want to pick up a live plant for the holiday season.

A wet couple of years damaged Christmas trees at area farms as late as last year, Storm Center 7 Meterologist McCall Vrydaghs said Tuesday. 

SEE: Our list of area tree farms 

The heavy rain caused root rot, which occurs when plants get too much water, and brown spot, a fungus that causes needle drop, she said. 

SEE: WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

As many as 900 Christmas trees were lost last year because of brown spot, she said. 

Special fencing at the farm on Haber Road in Englewood -- a series of simple bamboo poles, each one with a plastic shopping bag attached, on the perimeter of the area where the trees are grown -- has helped keep deer away, Vrydaghs said.