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Caregiving

Memory Loss? What's Expected and What You Can Change

Explore a new report about normal cognitive aging and how to stay sharp as you age. Learn from researchers about ways you can strengthen your cognitive abilities.

Caregiver Wisdom

Becoming a caregiver for someone with dementia demands learning a new way to be with that person. At some point most caregivers encounter challenges resulting from the disease. This can be a difficult time in the caregiving experience. Many caregivers learn effective strategies and techniques to address these obstacles. The knowledge and expertise of implementing successful strategies and adaptations result in CAREGIVER WISDOM.

Men as Caregivers

When most people hear the word "caregiver," a woman usually comes to mind as the tasks of "caregiving" are often associated with the female gender. However, men are taking on caregiver roles in increasing numbers. About 45% of husbands provide care for wives with dementia while another 30% of sons are also involved in caregiving efforts. It is not uncommon to see brothers, in-laws and grandsons also providing care. However, most male caregivers say they feel unprepared to step into this role.

Millennials Can Change the Face of Alzheimer's

Jan Dougherty, director of Family and Community Services at BAI, shares how millennials can make a difference in the care of a loved one with Alzheimer's, especially to benefit the women who disproportionately fill the exhausting role of caregivers.

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Caring for Alzheimer’s: How Three Couples Cope

The Wall Street Journal interviews three caregivers of spouses suffering from Alzheimer's who share the physical and emotional toll as the disease progresses.

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Ask the Expert: Caregiving Cost

Our expert this month is Ronald C. Petersen, PhD, MD, Director of Mayo Alzheimer's Disease Research Center and Mayo Clinic Study of Aging. An internationally recognized expert on Alzheimer's disease, Dr. Petersen is a member of the World Dementia Council. He also chairs the Advisory Committee on Research, Care and Services for the National Alzheimer's Project Act and serves on the Executive Committee of the Alzheimer's Prevention Registry.

Dear Dr. Petersen,

My wife and I have seen how Alzheimer's disease can financially drain families. The cost is alarming, especially when you consider that the number of Americans living with Alzheimer's is expected to grow. What can we do as individuals, and as a nation, to increase research funding for Alzheimer's disease?

Sincerely,
Patrick

What If We Could Delay the Onset of Alzheimer’s Disease?

A recently released report takes a "what if" approach to measure the impact of a hypothetical treatment that delays the onset of Alzheimer's disease by five years. Changing the Trajectory of Alzheimer's Disease: How a Treatment by 2025 Saves Lives and Dollars demonstrates that within the first five years of such a therapy, the number of Americans with an Alzheimer's diagnosis would decline by 2.5 million and save all payers – Medicare, Medicaid, private insurers and families – more than $83 billion.

Planning Ahead for the Person with Dementia

Alzheimer's disease and related dementias are progressive conditions that necessitate planning ahead for legal/financial decisions, supportive services, and medical decisions. As the person with dementia loses the ability to make choices and plan, the family caregiver(s) assume more of this responsibility.

Looking ahead before a crisis develops can help to ease the burden and emotional stress of caregivers who are learning to adapt to new roles and responsibilities as the illness progresses. Even in the very early stages, planning for the future is beneficial and can help with decisions in the later stages when the person with dementia is unable to participate. No matter the stage of the illness, it is good to review or update the plans.

Early Alzheimer’s in Parent Exacts Heavy Toll on Young Adult Children

The signs were subtle at first. Then obvious. Then terrifying and heartbreaking all at once.

For Julie Karceski, it was when her mother had small memory lapses and became angry if anyone pointed them out.

For Dylan Cooke, it was when her mother forgot to pick her up at the airport after Dylan's return from a year in Nicaragua.

For Lindsay O'Bannon, it was when her mother couldn't seem to master the simple rules of the board game her family was playing at a holiday gathering.

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'How Do You Tell Your Kids That You've Got Alzheimer's?'

This is the first in a series, "Inside Alzheimer's," about the experience of being diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease.

In 2009, 59-year-old Greg O'Brien was a successful journalist and writer living in Cape Cod. He was healthy and happy — he exercised every day, made a good living, spent time with his three children and wife.

But he had also started to notice changes in himself. He was forgetting things, and his judgment sometimes seemed to fail him. Meanwhile, his own mother was dying of Alzheimer's disease.

And that year, he was diagnosed as well.

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