The physician said, "Your loved one is suffering from a progressive neurological disease called Alzheimer's type dementia." This diagnosis is given every day to people in the Coastal Georgia area. What does this mean for the patient and for the people who live with her? Is anyone else in the area dealing with this diagnosis? Is there a cure? So what now?
Alzheimer's dementia is more common than you may think. There are many families, just like yours, who are dealing with the memory, mood, physical, emotional, and sensory changes they see in a family member.
The Alzheimer's Association Coastal GA Regional office in Savannah is a good source for information about local resources. Call 1-800-272-3900 24 hour Helpline or go to alz.org
for current information.
Mark your calendar for the second Monday of each month at 1:30pm and visit with others in your community who are providing care for a person with dementia causing illness. We meet informally in room 200 at Statesboro First United Methodist Church. Caregivers are encouraged to come to receive emotional support and locate resources through discussion, videos, shared knowledge and concerns in a confidential, small group setting.
For July, he facilitator has prepared information on changing family roles including ideas for explaining the disease to teens and young people.
Although there is no cure for Alzheimer's now, there is significant research underway to find a way to prevent this brain disease, treat the symptoms, and slow the progress of the disease.
AD may be strongly suspected if a person's memory for recent events, his ability to care for himself and others, his ability to communicate his thoughts, his perception of events and objects around him, and a change in his emotional state are noticed by those living closest to him. He may have a lot of trouble with understanding time and money concepts or withdraw from hobbies/activities he once enjoyed. There may be anger toward the one who is trying to help him.
Alzheimer's is a disease of the brain that typically occurs after age 60 and is the sixth leading cause of death in the USA. It is not at all uncommon and yet people avoid discussing this, perhaps because they do not know that so many of their neighbors are living with the same changes in their family life.
Meet with other caregivers who understand your concerns, share ideas, learn some new ways to help those with memory loss , and link up with community resources. Join us Monday afternoon, July 14th, August 11, etc.
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