Carillo leads a team of memory loss specialists in The Woodlands

Moments are like looking in a photo album and recognizing a camping trip spent with the family or the last birthday party spent with friends. But, when those memories vanish, it can be a very terrifying experience.

Luis Carillo wants to help those suffering from Alzheimer’s, dementia and memory loss by providing education and care to those in need.

“There are so many individuals affected with Alzheimer’s. Some studies suggest five out of ten people over the age of 85 will develop some sort of dementia,” Carillo said.

“One of the biggest factors is aging. As people live longer, the greater the impact to their mental health.”

Executive director of Autumn Leaves of The Woodlands, Carillo said one the missions of Autumn Leaves is to educate the public about dementia, one he said provides the greatest area for opportunity.

“Providing education to families is big and allows them to cope with what a loved one is going through,” said Carillo.

“Many of their loved ones were once CEOs, teachers, and other professionals. To see them change so much is stressful,” he said. “Educating loved ones and their caregivers helps them adjust to these changes.”

Autumn Leaves staff from nurses and other medical providers to administrative assistants and janitorial staff go through specialized training to meet the growing demands of the community.

“It takes a special person to work here. A lot of care and compassion goes into their work, so caregivers are able to leave their loved ones here and call it a home away from home,” Carillo said.

From day stays where the loved one stays for the day providing the caregiver the much needed break to take care of personal business like doctor’s appointments, to longer overnight stays, there is plenty of programs at Autumn Leaves.

“One of our programs focuses on brain stimulation and motor function,” Carillo said.

Carillo stays involved with community organizations such as The Alzheimer’s Association, explaining it is important to him and to others.

“When you are able to make a difference in people’s lives by helping them cope with stress better, this makes all the difference,” he said.

Originally published in the Houston Chronicle.

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