Seniors Outreach - September 21, 2016

In honor of World Alzheimer’s Day on September 21st, we’d like to share some actions that you can take, whether you are a caregiver, a friend of a caregiver or an older adult who has a history of the disease. The fight to end Alzheimer’s is critically important, and everyone can play a role.

Early-stage Alzheimer’s

Caregiver

Get Educated and Engaged - Caregivers whose loved one is entering the early stages of Alzheimer’s need to learn as much as they can about the disease, and stay active with family and friends. It is common for people (caregivers and those with dementia) in this new and overwhelming situation to become isolated and pull away from friends. But maintaining your close relationships is very important during this time. Also, take steps to help your person live successfully with the disease; for example, you may need to organize a carpool with friends to help take your loved one to church on Sundays, or out for coffee during the week.

Moderate-stage

Alzheimer’s Caregiver

Find Support - As your loved one progresses into moderate-stage Alzheimer’s, he or she is going to become more dependent on you for the basic activities of daily living. This is the time to accept help from your family and friends—because you just can’t do it alone. It is recommended to start exploring different forms of respite care—whether that be adult day care, in-home care services, or an art or music program that your loved one can get involved in.

A Past Caregiver

Mentor a New Caregiver - If you were a caregiver to a loved one with Alzheimer’s, you likely learned a lifetime’s worth of important information about how to best handle the disease. You could volunteer your time to talk with a new caregiver, sharing your experiences and the lessons you learned along the way. Being able to talk to someone who’s been through the same thing will probably be more helpful than anything a caregiver could ever read about the disease.

None of the above

You can still get involved! There are hundreds of other research studies out there for people of all ages. The Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry (www.endalnow.org) is open to anyone 18 and older, and shares research opportunities, caregiving advice, and general Alzheimer’s news. You can find clinical trials in your area, or share opportunities with friends and family who may be eligible. It’s a great way to stay active in the Alzheimer’s community!

As you can see, there are a wide range of ways that you can contribute to stopping the Alzheimer’s epidemic, whether it’s through caregiving, helping a friend, or joining a research study. We can all do our part to help a loved one, and contribute to the fight to end Alzheimer’s for good.