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Sometimes I am caught off guard when I visit the homes of potential Clients and their family members. Often times it is a joke that I walk into blindly or a topic that comes at me randomly where I might give a brief "deer in headlights" look. Luckily, my grandpa teased me a lot and not many things rattle me.

A serious question came across my desk the other day. "If I drink from the same cup or take a bite of food from the same utensil that is also being used by my partner, will I get what they have?"

There are several things that we can pass onto someone else. Viruses, such as the common cold, can be shared easily between individuals. This is why it is important to cover your coughs and wash your hands. COVID-19 and the variants are easily passed around and this is why masks and hand washing are very important. Staph infections are easily passed, too, and it is advisable to always wear gloves when assisting a person with personal cares and any form of wound dressing changes, and then hand washing.

Other aging ailments are not contagious. Dementia is not passed from one person to the next. Dementia can be genetic, but there are other ideas as to why people end up with dementia. Perhaps it was something that the person was exposed to years ago or perhaps it is environmental. Our bodies react differently when we are exposed to different things. It is important to know that you cannot get dementia from sharing the same cup or eating off of the same eating utensil.

It is important to know that other ailments that take place when we age are not contagious or infectious. Some of those ailments include but not limited to: Parkinson's, osteoporosis, arthritis, cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other forms of dementia related diseases. However, what is infectious and contagious is love and affection.

Human nature allows each of us to continue to feel affection. Giving a hug or a kiss, verbalizing terms of endearment, or just being there is very important for those who are going through the unfair ailments of aging. Sometimes it is difficult to continue showing love and affection when a loved one is going through changes, such as physical and mental ailments. Dementia is a difficult disease for many because loved ones tend to express "that isn't my Mom/Dad" and there is a level of grief. Just remember that deep down you still play a significant roll and that positive terms of endearment still play a contagiously positive roll for the loved one.

If you or a loved one is facing these difficult ailments to aging, there are support groups available. You can also contact our Home Sweet Home Cares & Services, LLC and we can assist you in finding a group in your area.

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