How can I learn more about my father’s Alzheimer’s disease?
By Barbara Fradkin
I am sorry to hear about your father’s diagnosis. Alzheimer’s is a public health and healthcare crisis. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than six million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s. One in three seniors in the U.S. will die from it. The cost of caring for someone with dementia during their lifetime is a staggering $373,527. Florida has the second highest prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease in the nation (after California). In Brevard County, 13% of people 65+ have Alzheimer’s. These statics are a cause for concern. But with proper education, advocacy, and support, loved ones with an Alzheimer’s diagnosis have a good chance of getting through this with dignity.
Nationally, the Alzheimer’s Association website at www.alz.org is a great source of information. On the Space Coast, the Brevard Alzheimer’s Foundation at www.Brevardalz.org is the home of Joe’s Club, providing supervised activities and socialization to adults who cannot be left alone.
Alzheimer’s disease is one type of dementia. 50-70% of those affected with dementia, have Alzheimer’s disease. Detection and treatment is increasingly sophisticated and new medications are being tested. Individuals with dementia, caregivers and healthy volunteers are all needed for clinical studies focused on Alzheimer’s. This may be something to consider if you have a new diagnosis or a family member is concerned about getting the disease.
Locally, Merritt Island Medical Research does free memory screenings twice a month at One Senior Place. They also are conducting clinical trials. ClinCloud is another company that does free memory screenings and clinical trials screenings. In the Orlando area, Charter Research is doing the same thing.
On Wednesday, June 21, One Senior Place in Viera will host a special Alzheimer’s event, The Longest Day. From Noon until 4 PM, attendees can learn about local resources, get their memory tested, enjoy a chair massage and sign up for the Dementia Live experience — an immersive simulation that fosters empathy and understanding of life with dementia. RSVP to 321-751-6771.
One Senior Place is a marketplace for resources and provider of information, advice, care and on-site services for seniors and their families. Questions for this column are answered by professionals in nursing, social work, care management and in-home care. Send questions to askOSP@OneSeniorPlace.com or call 321-751-6771. Barbara Fradkin is a Social Worker, Certified Care Manager and the former Director of One Senior Place, Viera.